Friday, 15 February, 2019

Senate confirms Judge Brett Kavanaugh for US Supreme Court

After Brett Kavanaugh confirmation fight worry over a Supreme Court stain Senate confirms Judge Brett Kavanaugh for US Supreme Court
Stacy Diaz | 07 October, 2018, 20:54

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.

Asked by host Chris Wallace if the confirmation was his proudest moment in the Senate, McConnell said, "I think so". We finally discovered the one thing that would fire up the Republican base, and we didn't think of it. Hey look, the Washington Post said it on their front page. "The fact that they were willing to use Dr. Ford's story that was uncorroborated to launch character assassinations on Judge Kavanaugh did not sit well with voters. I believe she was and that that awful experience has upended her life, but it does not mean that Brett Kavanaugh was her assailant".

"The radical Democrats have turned into an angry mob", he said.

At the same hearing, Kavanaugh vehemently denied Ford's allegation.

When it was official, Trump delivered a double thumbs-up from his desk.

"This wasn't going to get any better", McConnell said. "Very happy about it".

Trump, throughout the day, insisted Kavanagh would not be tainted by the sexual assault allegations from Blasey Ford and others that almost tanked his nomination.

"Painful", she said late Friday, describing her choice, which she attributed to concerns about Kavanaugh's temperament when he testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the allegations last week.

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., who has repeatedly battled with Trump and will retire in January, said he, too, planned to vote for Kavanaugh's confirmation.

But the saga - fueled by ugly accusations and counter-claims aired at nationally televised hearings, followed by an 11th-hour Federal Bureau of Investigation probe to address the assault allegations - has inflamed political passions.

To them, McConnell orchestrated the defense of Kavanaugh when the nominee was accused of sexual assault as a 17-year-old in 1982, dictating tactics that prioritized speed over a full investigation into that accusation and another while the nominee was a freshman at Yale University.

Throughout the day, Trump also kept his focus on the opposition, saying Kavanaugh had withstood a "horrible, awful attack" that "nobody should have to go through". "Democrats have become too EXTREME and TOO DANGEROUS to govern". He urged Kansas voters to send Republicans to Congress. "And that's what they've become", he said.

Saturday's vote for Kavanaugh was 50-48.

In a fiery and lengthy speech on Friday, Collins explained her decision to support the Kavanaugh's nomination, slamming the confirmation process that resembled a "caricature of a gutter-level political campaign" and said anti-Kavanaugh outside groups distorted the judge's record with "over-the-top rhetoric". "Praying for them, praying for us and praying for the country".

Besides the accusations of sexual misconduct, another issue - abortion rights - mobilised the opposition to Kavanaugh.

Hundreds of protesters were arrested on Capitol Hill this week - including several dozen in the hours leading to the final vote.

Protesters against US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh demonstrate at the high court in Washington ahead of his confirmation.

Trump also revealed that he believed a widely criticized rally speech in which he mocked Ford's Senate testimony had been a turning point for the nomination, changing the momentum in his favor.

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

"Trump made the remarks in an interview with Fox News' Jeanine Pirro, who noted that Trump had largely avoided criticizing Ford in public until he let loose at a MS campaign rally last week".

Advisers and Senate leaders had urged Trump not to attack Ford publicly, anxious such a move would anger on-the-fence senators. The audience laughed as Trump, at times inaccurately, recounted what he described as holes in her testimony. "Just because I support him does not mean I don't support that idea that women should be listened to", Zovko said. GOP operatives say they're also seeing renewed Republican interest in states like Wisconsin, where Democratic candidates for both Senate and governor have been polling strong. Both joined him on stage at the Expocentre to speak.

Trump has been holding rallies across the country as he tries to boost Republican turnout in November's midterm elections that will determine which party will control the House and Senate during the second half of Trump's term.

Kavanaugh faced allegations from three women of alcohol-fueled sexual misconduct from his younger years, when he was in high school and college.