Kavanaugh confirmed in narrow, party-line vote

Kavanaugh confirmed in narrow, party-line vote

Protesters rally in Time Square in New York, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018.

"Judge Kavanaugh's record is clear". With the confirmation, the court secured a rightward shift, one that will have ramifications for decades.

Before Pence called for the first vote, protestors began angrily yelling and were dragged out of the chamber by police.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has railed against Kavanaugh's critics, said he was "proud" of his Senate colleagues while Vice President Mike Pence, who presided in the Senate during the vote, called it a "historic day for our country".

McConnell, who stalled Barack Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland to the court in his final year in office and for whom the new conservative majority represents a defining achievement, predicted that Democratic tactics during confirmation battle would electrify Republican voters in November. One Republican, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, voted "present" although she said she opposed the nomination. The vote came the day after a fascinating and horrifying testimonies by both Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford before the committee.

On Friday, the Senate had voted 51-49 to close the debate and to proceed to the confirmation vote itself on Saturday.

Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY's List, which contributes to female Democratic candidates, assailed the confirmation of "an alleged sexual assailant and anti-choice radical to a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court. Women will not forget this".

Kavanaugh is set to be sworn in later Saturday.

Still, it was a close-run thing: Kavanaugh's nomination was almost derailed by Christine Blasey Ford's allegations that the judge assaulted her when they were teenagers in the 1980s, which sparked uproar and forced Republicans to delay the confirmation vote for a week to allow time for a supplemental Federal Bureau of Investigation background check.

The committee paused the nomination process for a week so the FBI could investigate.

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"Judge Kavanaugh's testimony was partisan, evasive, and on many points under oath, even untruthful", said Sen.

CAIR said it has witnessed an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims, immigrants and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president.

The accusations against Kavanaugh energized the #MeToo social media movement that emerged after high-profile accusations of sexual assault and harassment by men in politics, the media and the entertainment industry.

His elevation to the Supreme Court also stands as a demoralizing defeat for Democrats who had battled hard to block the 53-year-old judge at all costs.

NPR's Scott Detrow reported that as of around 1 p.m. ET Saturday, some protesters had broken through barriers set up in front of the Capitol and had made it as far as the main plaza and steps, where police began to slowly remove people one by one.

Hours before the vote, scores of protesters broke through barricades and staged a raucous sit-in protest on the US Capitol steps. They chanted, "Vote them out!" Each of Ford's named eyewitnesses also denied any knowledge of a party involving Ford and Kavanaugh.

Manchin used an emailed statement to announce his support for Kavanaugh moments after Collins finished talking.

Manchin expressed empathy for sexual assault victims.

"He is a strong, principled, qualified jurist who will defend liberty and adhere to the Constitution as written", he said. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) said he would vote to advance the Kavanaugh nomination out of committee but only on the condition that the FBI be allowed to conduct a one-week investigation into Ford's and Ramirez's allegations.

The struggle over Kavanaugh's nomination reflected the stakes. Before the sexual accusations grabbed the Senate's and the nation's attention, Democrats had argued that Kavanaugh's rulings and writings as an appeals court judge raised serious concerns about his views on abortion rights and a president's right to bat away legal probes.

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