Trump wins: Brett Kavanaugh confirmed to Supreme Court

Believes presidents should be protected from criminal investigations and civil lawsuits: As NPR reported in July, after he was part of the Starr investigation during the Clinton administration, Kavanaugh came to believe that, during their time in office, presidents should be protected from criminal investigations, as well as civil lawsuits.

Christine Blasey Ford accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her at a gathering when they were in high school - a claim he has steadfastly denied.

In the end, Republicans were able to use their monopoly on political power on Capitol Hill and the White House to muscle through the confirmation, which was almost derailed by Christine Blasey Ford's allegations that the judge assaulted her when they were teenagers in the 1980s. Some believe he might try to overturn the Roe versus Wade case which gave women nationwide right to abortion in 1973.

She was torn after a process she said was neither fair to Kavanaugh nor satisfactory for victims of sexual assault. A nervous but composed Blasey Ford testified first, telling senators that she was "absolutely" certain that it was Kavanaugh who had attacked her in the 1980s. Kavanaugh argued that the agency should have had more time to find a sponsor for the minor to live with before she made the decision to end her pregnancy.

She added that she is glad that the Senate voted, keeping her answers very general.

"I was surprised", said Senator Lindsey Graham.

Collins supported an additional FBI background check into the accusations, which stoked speculation that she might then break with Republicans and vote against Kavanaugh's nomination, but the results of that investigation - along with Bush's calls - paved the way for her support Friday. "The other side did it", he told reporters after Kavanaugh's confirmation. However, Collins maintained that "we have a presumption of innocence in this country" and given the lack of evidence she saw that could corroborate the allegation she "could not conclude that Brett Kavanaugh" was Ford's assailant.

Called out in alphabetical order, senators stood from their chairs to announce their vote, a formal style reserved for the most important business.

Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), all voted to confirm Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh's confirmation had already been all but sealed Friday, when he won the support of key Senate Republican Susan Collins and conservative Democrat Joe Manchin.

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But even if there was little suspense at Saturday's final vote, there was still plenty of theater, both inside and outside the Capitol.

As protesters chanted "Shame!" and "November is coming!" police took several dozen demonstrators down the steps and put them in plastic flex-cuffs.

The Democrats are still smarting from the previous Supreme Court appointment.

Even as she opposed Kavanaugh, Murkowski requested that her final vote be recorded as "present" as a courtesy to Senator Steve Daines, a Kavanaugh supporter who was away from the Senate for his daughter's wedding.

Republicans hold only a 51-49 Senate majority and therefore had little support to spare. To date, only one Supreme Court justice has been impeached, though he was acquitted.

As for Justice Kavanaugh, he is expected to be on the bench Tuesday.

The conservative was confirmed as judge.

The embattled Kavanaugh was poised to win Senate confirmation later on Saturday, weathering sexual misconduct accusations and criticism of his character and temperament. I don't know by whom.

Senators confirmed his ascension to the nation's highest court by a vote of 50-48, nearly completely along party lines. That could change quickly, however: During the next few months, the justices could decide whether to take up appeals involving hot-button issues like crosses on public land, partisan gerrymandering, and discrimination against LGBTQ employees. Although she said Mr Kavanaugh was a "good man", she said he was "not the right person for the court at this time" and his "appearance of impropriety has become unavoidable".

This post was originally published at Howe on the Court.

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