Published: Sun, October 07, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Rick Owen

Trump celebrates Kavanaugh victory at Kansas political rally

Trump celebrates Kavanaugh victory at Kansas political rally

With tensions simmering, Pence got an earful from activists who booed and chanted "Vote them out!" as he walked to his motorcade.

Several hundred protesters, majority women, barged through barricades to lay claim to the front steps of the US Capitol.

Collins, perhaps the chamber's most moderate Republican, proclaimed her support for Kavanaugh at the end of a floor speech that lasted almost 45 minutes.

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

Trump, flying to Kansas for a political rally, flashed a thumbs-up gesture when the tally was announced and praised Kavanaugh for being "able to withstand this awful, disgusting attack by the Democrats". However, based on all of the information I have available to me, including the recently completed 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.

About 100 anti-Kavanaugh protesters climbed the Capitol's East Steps as the vote approached, pumping fists and waving signs.

Republicans are trying to cling to a narrow 51-49 Senate majority in congressional elections that will be held on November 6. At one point in the hearing, Kavanaugh blamed a Clinton-revenge conspiracy for the accusations against him.

Three female GOP senators - Iowa's Jodi Ernst, West Virginia's Shelley Moore Capito and Mississippi's Cindy Hyde-Smith - sat directly behind Collins as she spoke.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell described Kavanaugh as a "superstar". A few Democrats sat stone-faced nearby.

While her vote spurred criticism, Collins was cheered by Republicans including current and former presidents. The final vote was 50 to 48: Although Murkowski had already expressed her opposition to Kavanaugh's confirmation, she withdrew her "no" vote and was recorded as simply being "present" as a courtesy to Senator Steve Daines, a Republican from Montana, who was out of town to attend his daughter's wedding.

Hundreds of protesters against Kavanaugh gathered on the grounds of the Capitol and at the Supreme Court. "And that is hard". Murkowski said she'd use an obscure procedure that lets one senator offset the absence of another without affecting the outcome.

Ms. Murkowski was the only Republican who did not vote in favor of the nomination.

By a vote of 50-48, the Senate gave a lifetime job to Kavanaugh, 53, after weeks of fierce debate over sexual violence, privilege and alcohol abuse that convulsed the nation just weeks before congressional elections on November 6.

That vote occurred amid smoldering resentment by partisans on both sides, on and off the Senate floor.

The allegations led to Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee during an epic hearing.

"Each of you in four weeks will have your chance to render your verdict on the Democrats' conduct at the ballot box", he said. That reflected Democrats' lasting umbrage over Republicans' 2016 refusal to even consider Merrick Garland, Obama's nominee to replace the late Antonin Scalia.

When Trump nominated Kavanaugh in July, Democrats leapt to oppose him, saying that past statements and opinions showed he'd be a threat to the Roe v. Wade case that assured the right to abortion. "I'm also concerned about the impact on the court".

But Kavanaugh's journey to the Supreme Court became a much rockier one in mid-September, when a California psychologist named Christine Blasey Ford accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in the early 1980s, when Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh were students at private schools in the Washington, D.C., suburbs.

Like other researchers, she could not recall a single case of a sexual assault victim misremembering a known attacker - save for rare instances in which people, often children, were coached into falsely accusing friends and family members.

Kavanaugh had always been mentioned as a potential Supreme Court pick, and when President Donald Trump nominated him on July 9 to succeed Kennedy, his path to the court looked like it would be a smooth one, with support not only from conservative lawyers and legal scholars, but also from Washington insiders of all ideological stripes.

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