Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s second nominee to the Supreme Court, was confirmed to the court on Saturday with a Senate vote largely divided along party lines. The vote occurred shortly before 4 p.m.
The confirmation process has been bitterly partisan, and disputes were exacerbated by allegations of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh that began surfacing in September. In response to the allegations, the Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony from Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, who alleges Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were in high school. Kavanaugh denies the allegation, while she has stood by her testimony.
The committee paused the nomination process for a week so the FBI could investigate. Afterwards, Republicans declared that the FBI had not found any corroborating witnesses, while Democrats complained the FBI didn’t look hard or long enough.
The final Senate vote was 50-48 margin in favor of confirming Kavanaugh to the highest court. Republican Sen. Steve Daines of Montana was not present at the vote because he was attending his daughter’s wedding. Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who broke with her party on Friday and voted against advancing Kavanaugh’s nomination, voted “present.”Trump announces Kavanaugh will be sworn in Saturday
Mr. Trump tweeted shortly after Kavanaugh was confirmed that the new member of the Supreme Court would be sworn in Saturday evening.
“I applaud and congratulate the U.S. Senate for confirming our GREAT NOMINEE, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, to the United States Supreme Court. Later today, I will sign his Commission of Appointment, and he will be officially sworn in. Very exciting!” Mr. Trump wrote.
I applaud and congratulate the U.S. Senate for confirming our GREAT NOMINEE, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, to the United States Supreme Court. Later today, I will sign his Commission of Appointment, and he will be officially sworn in. Very exciting!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 6, 2018
The Senate voted to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court Saturday afternoon. The final vote fell mostly along party lines, 50-48. The vote was consistently interrupted by protesters yelling and being escorted out of the Senate Gallery.
Pence presides over vote
Vice President Mike Pence is presiding over the vote to confirm Kavanaugh.
Protesters interrupted the vote continuously.
McConnell takes the Senate floor
McConnell took the Senate floor after Schumer, praising Kavanaugh and condemning his Democratic colleagues for perceived obstructionism.
“Judge Brett Kavanaugh is among the very best our country has to offer,” McConnell said. “He unquestionably deserves confirmation.”
He also said that the past few weeks of the confirmation process have “fanned the flames of partisan discord.” McConnell added that a vote to confirm Kavanaugh would prove that the Senate follows “facts and evidence.”
“This is a chamber in which the politics of intimidation and personal destruction do not win the day,” he said, alluding to allegations against Kavanaugh.