Kavanaugh sworn into Supreme Court after divisive fight

07 October, 2018, 16:28 | Author: Ethel Goodwin
  • Police lead a demonstrator out of the building

The 53-year-old conservative was sworn in as 114th Supreme Court justice by Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. and retired Justice Anthony Kennedy in a private ceremony at the Supreme Court.

It represents the culmination of a decades-long project by the conservative movement to construct a like-minded majority on the Supreme Court which has been a defining and unifying cause in successive congressional and presidential campaigns.

Bush also reaffirmed his commitment to Kavanaugh after Ford and other accusers brought allegations of sexual misconduct against the nominee. Every Democrat except one - senator Joe Manchin voted against him.

Kavanaugh's nomination became an intense personal and political drama when university professor Christine Blasey Ford accused him of sexually assaulting her when they were high school students in a wealthy suburb of Washington in 1982. This is despite Ford testifying, under oath, that she is "100 percent" sure that Kavanaugh was her attacker.

Kavanaugh denied the accusations against him, but the Senate Judiciary Committee held a new hearing on September 27.

"I have no doubt", Trump said, telling reporters that he had chosen Kavanaugh, in part, because "there's nobody with a squeaky-clean past like Brett Kavanaugh".

Trump also pointed to television footage of protesters outside the Capitol, and said their numbers paled in comparison to the thousands of supporters awaiting him in Kansas.

Yet Kavanaugh's path to confirmation seemed unfettered until Ford and two other women emerged with sexual misconduct allegations from the 1980s.

But after an 11th-hour investigation by the FBI into the allegations, enough wavering senators made a decision to back the nomination.

Republican Senator Susan Collins, who voted for Kavanaugh after a cliff-hanger, said it was a "confirmation process that has become so dysfunctional, it looks more like a caricature of a gutter-level political campaign than a solemn occasion".

On U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, he dissented in several environmental cases because he believed that the EPA was not interpreting its governing statutes reasonably. Democrats were sharply critical of the investigation and the report that it produced, noting that the FBI had not interviewed either Blasey Ford or Kavanaugh. Susan Collins several times ahead of her announcement Friday that she would support Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court - and he's been out of office for almost a decade.

"I believe that she is a survivor of a sexual assault and that this trauma has upended her life", said Susan Collins (R-Maine), who gave Kavanaugh his crucial 50th vote.

But even if there was little suspense at Saturday's final vote, there was still plenty of theater, both inside and outside the Capitol.

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

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

During the final moments before the vote, Senate Democratic Party leader Chuck Schumer said: "To Americans, to so many millions who are outraged by what happened here, there's one answer: Vote" in November.

"Each of you in four weeks will have your chance to render your verdict on the Democrats' conduct at the ballot box", he said. McConnell extolled Kavanaugh as a "superstar, a serious scholar" who is "legendary for his preparation and possesses the qualifications, the temperament and judicial philosophy" to be a brilliant justice.

Their move meant that McConnell could forge the narrowest of majorities to clear Kavanaugh, despite the fact that another Republican, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, opposed him.

As Pence attempted to begin the vote, the proceedings were periodically interrupted by protesters in the gallery, who often shouted loudly before they were removed from the room.

Her hearing sparked a supplemental Federal Bureau of Investigation probe into his background, which created a week long delay of the vote. Steve Daines of Montana, who supports Kavanaugh but was in Montana to walk his daughter down the aisle at her wedding.

Image: Judge Kavanaugh being sworn in. Right now the court's docket is packed with cases that present interesting legal issues but are not the kind of high-profile disputes that we have seen in recent years.


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