After bitter nomination fight, Brett Kavanaugh sworn in as U.S. Supreme Court justice

Following months of incendiary accusations, polarizing politics and rowdy Capitol protests, Brett Kavanaugh on Saturday was sworn in as the most recent U.S. Supreme Court justice. 

President Donald Trump’s nominee to the highest courtroom was formally appointed in a non-public ceremony simply hours after senators voted 50-48 to verify his nomination, marking the top of a battle for the ages between Democrats and Republicans. It was one of many narrowest ever margins for a vote on a Supreme Court nomination.

As Kavanaugh was sworn in, lots of of protesters in Washington chanted outdoors the courtroom. Raucous demonstrators — largely anti-Kavanaugh — have been a fixture on Capitol Hill all through the nomination course of. Many imagine Kavanaugh’s appointment as a conservative justice to an ideologically divided prime courtroom may affect LGBTQ and abortion rights in the U.S., and may additionally affect the attain of presidential powers or the function of faith in society.

On Saturday, U.S. Capitol Police stated they arrested 164 folks for collaborating in “illegal demonstration actions.” However Trump sought to downplay the variety of protesters, tweeting that the gang massing earlier than the Supreme Court was “tiny” and seemed to be “principally onlookers.”

Earlier than the vote, New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, the highest Democrat in the Senate, referred to as the prospect of Kavanaugh’s affirmation “a low second for the Senate, for the courtroom, for the nation.”

However Senate Republicans expressed a wholly completely different tone.

Senate majority chief Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, stated, “The members of this physique are responsibility certain to make sure we affirm justices of the Supreme Court who’re women and men of the very best character and essentially the most superlative {qualifications}.”

“So thankfully, that’s simply the kind of nominee who stands earlier than us right this moment,” McConnell stated.

Following the vote, McConnell stated the Senate “stood up for presumption of innocence,” whereas Trump congratulated lawmakers on Twitter for confirming a “nice nominee.”

Kavanaugh’s opponents had raised considerations that he’d push the courtroom additional proper, together with the potential for rulings sympathetic to Trump’s positions.

However for the previous few weeks, the battle was dominated by allegations that he sexually abused girls a long time in the past — accusations he continues to emphatically deny. 

Whereas aboard Air Power One on his strategy to a rally in Kansas, Trump stated “there may be nobody with a squeaky clear previous like Brett Kavanaugh. He’s an excellent particular person and I am very honoured to have chosen him.”

Collins says no corroborating proof

Regardless of fierce opposition from Democrats, by Saturday, Kavanaugh’s affirmation was already all however sure. Two swing votes, Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, introduced Friday they might vote for Kavanaugh.

Collins informed fellow senators that Christine Blasey Ford’s dramatic testimony final month describing Kavanaugh’s alleged 1982 assault on her was “honest, painful and compelling.” However Collins stated the FBI had discovered no corroborating proof from witnesses whose names Ford had offered.

“We can be ill-served in the long term if we abandon the presumption of innocence and equity, tempting although it could be,” she stated. “We should all the time do not forget that it’s when passions are most infected that equity is most in jeopardy.”

These passions had been on full show in a battle that would energize each events’ voters in elections for management of Congress simply 5 weeks away.

Collins, maybe the chamber’s most average Republican, proclaimed her assist for Kavanaugh on the finish of a flooring speech that lasted practically 45 minutes. Whereas she was amongst a handful of Republicans who helped sink Trump’s quest to obliterate President Barack Obama’s health-care regulation final 12 months, this time she proved instrumental in delivering a triumph to Trump.

Watch Collins clarify why she is going to vote to verify Kavanaugh:

Republican Susan Collins defined to the Senate her causes for supporting Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court 0:55

Manchin, the one Democrat to vote for Kavanugh on Saturday, introduced his assist for Kavanugh in an emailed statements despatched moments after Collins completed speaking. He faces a aggressive re-election race subsequent month in a state Trump carried in 2016 by 42 proportion factors.

Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski, a fellow average and a pal of Collins, was the one Republican to say she opposed Kavanaugh. However on Saturday, she voted “current” as an alternative of “no,” offsetting the absence of Kavanaugh supporter Steve Daines of Montana, who was attending his daughter’s marriage ceremony. That uncommon procedural maneuver left Kavanaugh with the identical two-vote margin he’d have had if Murkowski and Daines had each voted.

Vice-President Mike Pence was accessible Saturday in case his tie-breaking vote was wanted.

Restrict on debate handed

In a procedural vote Friday that handed Republicans an preliminary victory, senators voted 51-49 to restrict debate, defeating Democratic efforts to scuttle the nomination with countless delays.

That vote occurred amid smouldering resentment by partisans on each side, on and off the Senate flooring.

“What left-wing teams and their Democratic allies have accomplished to Decide Kavanaugh is nothing in need of monstrous,” the chairman of the Senate judiciary committee, Iowa’s Chuck Grassley, stated earlier than the vote.

When Trump nominated Kavanaugh in July, Democrats leapt to oppose him, saying that previous statements and opinions confirmed he’d be a risk to the Roe vs. Wade case that assured the best to abortion. They stated he additionally appeared able to rule for Trump if federal authorities probing his 2016 marketing campaign’s connections to Russia attempt to pursue him in courtroom.

Watch among the key moments from Kavanaugh’s journey to the Supreme Court:

A recap of Brett Kavanaugh’s journey to the U.S. Supreme Court, from his nomination via a roller-coaster Senate listening to to affirmation. 4:41

But Kavanaugh’s pathway to affirmation appeared unfettered till Ford accused him of drunkenly sexually assaulting her in a locked bed room at a 1982 highschool gathering. Two different girls later emerged with sexual misconduct allegations from the 1980s.

Democrats additionally challenged Kavanaugh’s honesty, temperament and skill to be nonpartisan after he fumed finally week’s Judiciary listening to that Democrats had launched a “search and destroy mission” in opposition to him fuelled by their hatred of Trump.

Kavanaugh will substitute the retired justice Anthony Kennedy, who was a swing vote on points together with abortion, marketing campaign finance and same-sex marriage.

With information from CBC Information


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