Monday, 22 October, 2018

Trump says Alaska voters will "never forgive" Murkowski's vote on Kavanaugh

Brett Kavanaugh has been through a bruising confirmation process which has included allegations of sexual misconduct from his student days which he categorically denies Watch live: Final Senate vote on Kavanaugh nomination
Ellis Copeland | 09 October, 2018, 04:44

As exhausted senators prepared for Saturday's vote, some were flanked by security guards. The vote followed party lines, with two exceptions: Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) in 2013, lowering the threshold from 60 to 51 for presidential nominations.

Alaska's Lisa Murkowski, the only Republican to oppose the nominee, voted "present", offsetting the absence of Kavanaugh supporter Steve Daines of Montana, who was attending his daughter's wedding.

The 50-48 vote - which was more or less a formality, given that the key swing senators announced their votes on Friday - was the denouement of a bitter and dramatic confirmation fight.

Kavanaugh defended his actions, citing his previous 12 years as a District Court Judge in an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal Friday.

Trump has long known the rare power he holds in this regard.

Trump pushed through Neil Gorsuch in 2017, more than a year after the death of conservative lion Antonin Scalia. In 2006, conservative Justice Samuel Alito replaced one of those moderates, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

Brett Kavanaugh is finally a Supreme Court justice. The crucial fifth vote was the sole remaining moderate, Justice Anthony Kennedy.

If recent history with Neil Gorsuch is any indication, now that Kavanaugh's been confirmed. he could be sworn in as early as Monday.

Unsurprisingly, Mr Trump took a very different tone, tweeting to "applaud and congratulate" the Senate's confirmation of his "great nominee".

Talking heads quickly zoned in on Trump's "List" of 25 potential justices.

"This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit, fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election, fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record, revenge on behalf of the Clintons and millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups", Kavanaugh said.

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Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh leaves his home after being confirmed by the U.S. Senate October 06, 2018, in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

The political Left went into immediate meltdown, with raucous protests outside the U.S. Supreme Court.

Experts from both sides dived deeply into Kavanaugh's lengthy paper trail. Richard Blumenthal, continued to argue that Kavanaugh was not a good candidate for elevation to the nation's highest court.

Beyond that, Kavanaugh submitted over 112 pages of answers to questions from senators, and included 17,000 pages of attachments.

His nomination will tip the Supreme Court's balance in favour of conservatives, and Mr Kavanaugh's opponents fear he will curtail abortion rights and weaken gun control.

In a statement to Politico in September, Bush said: "Laura and I have known and respected Brett Kavanaugh for decades, and we stand by our comments the night Judge Kavanaugh was nominated: "He is a fine husband, father, and friend - and a man of the highest integrity".

The chamber voted 50-48 to confirm Kavanaugh, mostly along party lines, after a weeklong Federal Bureau of Investigation probe helped settle concerns among most wavering senators about the sexual assault allegations that almost derailed his nomination and led to a dramatic second hearing.

Mr Kavanaugh denied the accusations in sworn testimony. Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan. Flake and several other moderate senators then announced their support for Kavanaugh, including Sen.

She acknowledged the anguish of the protesters who interrupted the historic Senate vote, telling reporters afterwards that "I was closing my eyes and praying".

Kavanaugh was married in 2004 to Ashley Estes, who he met at the White House while she was working as President Bush's personal secretary.

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