Published: Sun, October 07, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Collins announces support for Kavanaugh, making chances of confirmation almost certain

Collins announces support for Kavanaugh, making chances of confirmation almost certain

Hundreds of protesters against Kavanaugh had gathered on Saturday on the grounds of the Capitol and at the Supreme Court.

The crowd broke into chants that included "we believe survivors".

Topeka police Sgt. Jayme Green said he didn't know of any arrests being made during the protest.

Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in as US Supreme Court justice on Saturday, the court said, after a deeply divided US Senate confirmed him to the court and Republicans dismissed accusations of sexual misconduct against the conservative judge.

This is the second Supreme Court appointment by President Donald Trump, who said Judge Kavanaugh would be sworn in the same day.

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

One of Ms. Blasey Ford's lawyers, Debra Katz, watched the confirmation vote from the public viewing gallery Saturday.

In a chamber where Republicans hold the narrowest of majorities, all senators voted in accordance with party lines, with the exception of Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who endorsed Kavanaugh, and Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski, who voted against.

The ferocious nature of the confirmation battle could also have an impact on the Court itself, as Kavanaugh's vehement and politicized defense of his own behavior raised questions about his temperament and whether he could genuinely be a honest broker and implementer of the law in the most sensitive cases.

If Kavanaugh is seated for these and other cases, he should expect a high number of recusal requests.

"Great decision. I very much appreciate those 50 great votes and I think he's going to go down as a totally brilliant Supreme Court Justice for many years". Republicans emerged confident that the FBI investigation into the allegations unearthed no new corroborating details.

Minority Democrat leader Chuck Schumer said Mr Kavanaugh did not belong on the bench as he had "obscured his views to the American people", "repeatedly misled the Senate" and delivered one of the "bitterest and most partisan testimonies ever presented by a nominee".

For weeks, senators from both parties decried the harsh and often emotional rhetoric in the clash over Kavanaugh, a federal appeals court judge with a history of advancing Republican causes.

"Took a week - but that extra week was a great thing", he said, referring to the supplemental FBI background investigation into the allegations against Kavanaugh.

Trump, throughout the day, insisted Kavanagh would not be tainted by the sexual assault allegations from Christine Blasey Ford and others that almost tanked his nomination, declaring he was "100 percent" certain his nominee was innocent.

"I hope we have all learned something, that we owe it to the victims of sexual assault to do more and to do better and to do it with them", she said.

President Donald Trump's nomination of Kavanaugh came under intense scrutiny after multiple women came forward to accuse the 53-year-old judge of sexual assault or sexual misconduct.

In a procedural vote that handed Republicans an initial victory, senators voted 51-49 Friday to limit debate and keep the nomination alive, defeating Democratic efforts to scuttle it with endless delays.

None of this has to do with the contentious nature of his confirmation, although two Democratic-appointed justices, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, acknowledged in remarks at Princeton University on Friday that they're anxious about a public perception that the court is being politicized.

Mr Kavanagh was sworn in nearly immediately by Chief Justice John Roberts, according to a statement from the court.

In fact, Ms. Blasey Ford's account has been rebuffed by three people she says were at the party where she was assaulted.

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

"I used to think he was a pretty courageous guy".

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