The Senate voted Saturday to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, marking the end to one of the most rancorous confirmation fights in modern times and securing a rightward shift on the nation’s highest court. The chamber voted 50-48 to confirm Kavanaugh, mostly along party lines, after a weeklong FBI probe helped settle concerns among most wavering senators about the sexual assault allegations that nearly derailed his nomination and led to a dramatic second hearing. Saturday’s roll call marked the tightest successful Supreme Court confirmation vote in over 100 years, closer than even that of Clarence Thomas who similarly faced sexual misconduct allegations. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., was the sole Democrat to vote “yes.” Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, was a “no,” but voted “present” as a courtesy to Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., who was attending his daughter’s wedding in Montana. Kavanaugh was scheduled to be sworn in as an associate justice of the court on Saturday night. Democrats reacted to the vote by urging supporters to turn out to the polls in November for the midterms. “The American people are raising their voices to a deafening roar today. We will not stop marching, we will not stop fighting, and we will vote on Election Day for leaders who share our values.” Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez said in a statement. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said it was a “heartbreaking day for women, girls and families across America.” She also announced she is filing a Freedom of Information Act request so the public can view documents connected to the FBI’s background investigation into sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh. “The conduct of the Senate Republican Majority did violence to the reputation of both the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Supreme Court. We must proceed in a judicious manner to set the record straight and ensure that this never happens again,” she said. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnnell, R-Ky., brushed off criticism from Democrats and said it was “a good day for America and an important day for the Senate.” “We stood up for the presumption of innocence, we refused to be intimidated by the mob of people coming after Republican members at their homes and hallways,” he said. “I applaud and congratulate the U.S. Senate for confirming our GREAT NOMINEE, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, to the United States Supreme Court,” President Trump tweeted. “Later today, I will sign his Commission of Appointment, and he will be officially sworn in. Very exciting!” The result was all but secured Friday night when undecided Sens. Manchin and Susan Collins, R-Maine, announced they would vote to confirm Kavanaugh, along with Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., who threw a curveball into the process when he requested the supplemental background probe last week as a virtual condition for support. Collins, on the Senate floor Friday, dismissed claims that Kavanaugh would be an extremist judge, and said the sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh failed to meet the “more likely than not” standard. The explosive battle over his seating as the ninth justice extended Saturday into the vote itself, with protesters shouting from the gallery and packing the Capitol and Supreme Court grounds – vowing to inflict payback against Republicans in November, and indicating Kavanaugh will be a lightning rod for years to come. “A vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh today is a vote to end this brief, dark chapter in the Senate’s history and turn the page toward a brighter tomorrow,” McConnell said ahead of the vote, over which Vice President Pence presided.
YEAH!!!!! Thank God this circus is FINALLY over. And, thank God the rule of law, and the presumption of innocence (a hallmark of our system of judgement, and indeed in most of western civilization) won the day. As for the politics.. Trump can claim a HUGE (or “YUGE”) victory lap. Promise made, promise kept. Wow.. Congrats to Justice Brett Kavanaugh! 🙂