US Senate confirms Kavanaugh to Supreme Court after divisive fight

Brandon  The Associated Press

Brandon The Associated Press

"As a reminder to our visitors in the gallery, expressions of approval or disapproval are not permitted in the Senate gallery", Pence said calmly mid-vote.

Allegations against Kavanaugh arose late in the confirmation process that he sexually abused women decades ago. On Thursday, almost 300 protesters, including comedian and actress Amy Schumer, were detained by Capitol Police during a demonstration.

Matt Brooks, director of the same organization, said the contentious vote underlined the importance of upcoming midterm elections, which could see the Senate gain a Democratic majority. Hangers and worse have been delivered to their offices, a Roe v. Wade reference.

A large crowd has gathered on the steps of the U.S. Capitol to protest Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court.

McConnell told The Associated Press in an interview that the "mob" of opposition - confronting senators in the hallways and at their homes - united his narrowly divided GOP majority as Kavanaugh's confirmation teetered and will give momentum to his party this fall. The chamber voted 50-48 to confirm Kavanaugh, mostly along party lines, after a weeklong Federal Bureau of Investigation probe helped settle concerns among most wavering senators about the sexual assault allegations that almost derailed his nomination and led to a dramatic second hearing.

"Justice Kavanaugh will make an excellent addition to the United States Supreme Court", McDaniel said.

Kavanaugh is set to be sworn in later Saturday.

But the fight was defined by the sexual assault accusations.

When Mr Trump nominated Mr Kavanaugh in July, Democrats leapt to oppose him, saying that past statements and opinions show he could be a threat to court cases on the right to abortion. Democrats dismissed the truncated report as insufficient.

In the end, however, the decision by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, lined up behind the judge.

University of Iowa law professor Paul Gowder, who signed onto the letter, said he was surprised when he heard the testimony from Kavanaugh.

Rep. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, confronting a tough re-election race next month in a state that Trump won in 2016 by a landslide, was the sole Democrat to vote for Kavanaugh. The move did not impact the overall outcome of the vote, but it allowed for the margin to be the same as it would have been if Daines had been there to participate and prevented a situation where Daines would have to fly back Saturday to cast a vote to ensure the result.

In 1881, Justice Stanley Matthews prevailed in a vote of 24-23. Ford alleges that Kavanaugh pinned her down at a party and held a hand over her mouth to muffle her screams while he tried to take her clothes off.

Manchin was the only Democrat to vote for Kavanaugh's confirmation.

"As I said on the floor of the Senate, the confirmation process has become poisonous, and senators on both sides of the aisle need to work together to fix some of the damage to the institution and the country".

Their support makes Saturday's vote to confirm Kavanaugh an apparent formality after a battle that riveted the nation for almost a month.

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