Will Kavanaugh vote match closest in history?

Lamar Ellis
October 8, 2018

Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) defended his decision to block former President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland after pushing President Donald Trump's nominee Brett Kavanaugh through his confirmation process.

President Donald Trump, on board Air Force One, gestures while watching a live television broadcast of the Senate confirmation vote of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Oct. 6, 2018.

Sen. Mazie Hirono, Hawaii Democrat, deflected questions Sunday about whether Democrats should pursue impeachment if the party takes control of the House in the midterm elections.

Exhausted and embittered, the 100 members of the upper chamber of Congress acknowledge that their once-venerated institution plumbed new depths during the contentious fight that ended Saturday with Kavanaugh's confirmation.

"I found Dr. Ford's testimony to be heart-wrenching, painful, compelling, and I believe that she believes what she testified to", Collins said. He denied the allegations repeatedly, including in testimony before the committee on September 27.

"If there was even a scintilla of something wrong - he was a very big judge for many years on what they call the second highest court - that would have come out loud and clear", he said. They chanted, "Vote them out!" Enough senators have indicated they will support him Saturday to put him over the edge, with a likely margin of two votes.

On the same program, McConnell chuckled when asked if Republicans will not campaign against West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin now that he voted for Kavanaugh - the only Democrat to do so.

After Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died in February 2016, McConnell said: "The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice".

Democrats said Kavanaugh's partisan defense of himself, in which he said he was victim of a "political hit", was enough itself to disqualify him from the court.

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On Friday, the Senate voted 51-49 to move Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination to a final vote, which took place Saturday afternoon. In addition to the protests by women and sexual assault survivors in recent weeks, associate justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor weighed in Friday suggesting that the court's reputation will be harmed by the partisan bickering.

Kavanaugh would replace the retired Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was a swing vote on issues such as abortion, campaign finance and same-sex marriage.

The latest polls show Heitkamp trails her Republican opponent, Rep. Kevin Cramer, by double digits ahead of the November 6 midterm election in a state Trump won easily in 2016.

Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski was the only Republican to break ranks in Friday's cloture vote.

A separate, public swearing-in ceremony is planned for 7:00 pm (2300 GMT) Monday in the White House's East Room.

Brett Kavanaugh will be sworn in as a justice to US Supreme Court on Saturday - hours after he was confirmed by the Senate, the court announced in a statement.

Collins revealed Sunday on CNN that Kavanaugh's angry rebuttal to allegations by Christine Blasey Ford that he had attempted to rape her when they were teenagers helped to sway her vote. I mean, who would have thought a thing like that could have happened, what he's been through?

"I stand before you today on the heels of a tremendous victory for our nation", he said to roars, thanking Republican senators for refusing to back down "in the face of the Democrats' shameless campaign of political and personal destruction".

He said Kavanaugh had withstood a "horrible, frightful attack" that "nobody should have to go through".

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