Senate debates Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination

Senate debates Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination

The US Senate was expected to confirm conservative judge Brett Kavanaugh as the next Supreme Court justice on Saturday, as protesters vented their rage on the steps of the US Capitol.

The vice president can vote in the event of a Senate tie. However, based on all of the information I have available to me, including the recently completed Federal Bureau of Investigation report, I have found Judge Kavanaugh to be a qualified jurist who will follow the Constitution and determine cases based on the legal findings before him.

In the tense moments before the morning vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, for whom a conservative Supreme Court majority would represent a career defining achievement, accused Democrats of trying to derail Kavanaugh's nomination with delaying tactics and obstruction - even though he is a possibly Washington's most accomplished master of the dark arts.

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 process that led to this vote today has been, in my view, a disgusting process, a gut-wrenching process, where good people have been needlessly hurt, where a woman who never sought the public spotlight was, I think, cruelly thrust into the brightest of spotlights", Murkowski said.

The vote caps a contest fought against the backdrop of the #MeToo movement and President Donald Trump's unyielding support of his Supreme Court nominee.

Republicans control the Senate by a meager 51-49 margin. The roll call seemed destined to be almost party-line, with just a single defector from each side capping a contest fought against the backdrop of the #MeToo movement and President Donald Trump's unyielding support of his nominee.

The closest confirmation votes for a Supreme Court nominee were decided by a single vote.

But she said the last few weeks had raised further concerns, particularly his emotional defense in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he had blasted Democrats for their treatment of the sexual assault allegations against him.

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USA Today will be providing live coverage in the player above of the Senate floor for the votes and debate on the Kavanaugh nomination. Ahead, the most biting reactions of them all.

In a twist, Murkowski voted "present" Saturday as a courtesy to Republican Kavanaugh supporter Steve Daines, who was to walk his daughter down the aisle at her wedding in Montana.

Manchin's announcement came after Republican Sen. They also challenged the veracity of some of his Judiciary Committee testimony. That support all but assured Republicans of the votes they needed to push the nomination across the finish line.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of NY called the fight "a sorry epilogue to the brazen theft of Justice Scalia's seat".

Murkowski said she has a high bar for any nominee to the Supreme Court, referencing section 1.2 of the Judicial Code of Conduct, which states that "a judge shall act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the independence, integrity and impartiality of the judiciary, and shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety". They said he also seemed ready to rule for Trump if federal authorities probing his 2016 campaign's connections to Russian Federation try to pursue him in court.

Throughout the day, Trump also kept his focus on the opposition, saying Kavanaugh had withstood a "horrible, terrible attack" that "nobody should have to go through".

"But Democrats had pointed to not only the sexual assault allegations, which they described" but also questions about Kavanaugh's temperament during the hearing last week and whether he had lied about his drinking during high school and college, and what certain references in his high school yearbook meant.

Murkowski has expressed unease with the sexual assault allegations lodged against Kavanaugh, which he denies.

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

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