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Senate confirms Brett Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court justice, ending contentious nomination fight

3 years 7 months 2 weeks ago Saturday, October 06 2018 Oct 6, 2018 October 06, 2018 3:04 PM October 06, 2018 in News
Source: Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh as the next Supreme Court Justice of the United States.

The vote was 50-48.

Democrats and demonstrators vented their rage and resistance, but the Senate rolled toward approving Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination Saturday as President Donald Trump and Republicans approached an election-season triumph in the most electrifying confirmation battle in years.

Capping a venomous struggle that transfixed Americans when it veered into claims that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted women in the 1980s — claims he fiercely denied — the 53-year-old conservative's nomination was on track for afternoon approval. He seemed certain to win by a slender two votes in a near party-line roll call, among the narrowest margins ever.

Trump weighed in Saturday morning on behalf of the man he nominated in July and who as justice would tilt the court rightward, possibly for decades. "Big day for America!" he tweeted.

Democrats paraded to a nearly empty Senate chamber overnight and into Saturday to lambaste the nominee. They said he'd push the court further right, including possible sympathetic rulings for Trump himself. And they said his record and fuming testimony at a now-famous Senate Judiciary Committee hearing showed he lacked the fairness, temperament and even honesty to become a justice.

But the fight was defined in recent weeks by sexual assault accusations, especially Christine Blasey Ford's allegation that a drunken Kavanaugh tried to rape her at a 1982 high school gathering. Kavanaugh vehemently denied all the claims.

All but one Republican lined up behind him, arguing that a truncated FBI investigation turned up no corroborating witnesses and that Kavanaugh had sterling credentials for the court. Exactly one month from elections in which House and Senate control are in play, Democrats tried making sure that female voters were paying attention.

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