Published: Mon, October 08, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Melania Trump gives thumbs-up to Kavanaugh

Melania Trump gives thumbs-up to Kavanaugh

FILE - In this September 27, 2018 file photo, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh arrives to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Without a shift in those who have already announced their votes, Murkowski's vote of "present" will not affect the nomination outcome.

That fury was reflected openly by thousands of boisterous anti-Kavanaugh demonstrators who bounced around the Capitol complex for days, confronting senators in office buildings and even reportedly near their homes.

Yet Mr Kavanaugh's pathway to confirmation seemed unfettered until Ms Ford accused him of drunkenly sexually assaulting her in a locked bedroom at a 1982 high school gathering.

Kavanaugh gives the conservatives their first reliable majority on the nine-person panel since the mid-20th century, and though Democrats could attempt to impeach the judge in the future, they will need two-thirds backing in Senate, something that is considered unlikely unless new firm allegations come to light.

Democrats said Kavanaugh would push the court too far, including possible sympathetic rulings for Trump should the president encounter legal problems from the special counsel's investigations into Russian connections with his 2016 presidential campaign.

The reaction has been swift, with former President George Bush and White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders both tweeting their support for Collins.

In final remarks just before the voting, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said a vote for Kavanaugh was "a vote to end this brief, dark chapter in the Senate's history and turn the page toward a brighter tomorrow".

Gillibrand says that after the way Anita Hill was treated by the Senate during the Clarence Thomas hearings in 1991, "we said it would never happen again".

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It represents the culmination of a decades-long project by the conservative movement to construct a like-minded majority on the Supreme Court which has been a defining and unifying cause in successive congressional and presidential campaigns.

If Murkowski asked to be recorded the same way she voted Friday - a "no" - Republican senators would have to preside over the Senate to keep the chamber open late into Saturday night and potentially early Sunday to wait for Daines to fly from Montana to DC. Vice President Mike Pence presided, his potential tie-breaking vote unnecessary.

The announcements Friday by Republican Susan Collins of ME and Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia came after weeks of shocking accusations, hardball politics and Capitol protests. But he added that based on the 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".

Brett Kavanaugh seems assured of surviving a Supreme Court nomination fight for the ages after two wavering senators said they'd back him.

"I do not believe that these charges can fairly prevent Judge Kavanaugh from serving on the court", Collins said. She told reporters on Friday that Kavanaugh is "a good man" but maybe "not the right man for the court at this time". More than 300 have been arrested in anti-Kavanaugh protests this week in the nation's capital.

"It is a handsome thing to see - and they are not paid professional protesters who are handed expensive signs".

Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), who is set to become chairman of the Judiciary Committee if Democrats take the House, said he is not eager to investigate Kavanaugh, but the Senate has "failed to do its proper constitutionally mandated job of advise and consent".

Kavanaugh's confirmation process was scrambled by allegations of sexual misconduct and assault that emerged in recent weeks.

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