George W. Bush made several calls reassuring Collins about Kavanaugh

Cheryl Sanders
October 7, 2018

The two-vote margin made it the closest confirmation vote since 1881. Women. Women, were outraged at what happened to Brett Kavanaugh!

Image: Judge Kavanaugh being sworn in. Jeff Flake of Arizona, followed by Republican Sen.

"Today the United States Supreme Court has gained an exceptional Justice in Brett Kavanaugh", Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life, which opposes abortion, said in a statement.

But the Kavanaugh spectacle, fueled by extraordinary accusations and counter-claims in nationally televised hearings, and tense battles over an 11th-hour FBI investigation to address the assault allegations, has inflamed political passions.

While Judge Kavanaugh was sworn in, in a private ceremony, protests continued outside, with some even rushing to the doors and banging on them in fury.

The dueling testimonies by Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh in front of the Senate last week provided one of the most memorable and partisan political spectacles in recent American history. Jeff Flake put it as he called for the Federal Bureau of Investigation review into sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh, "This country is being ripped apart here". "And it is long overdue", said Ms. Collins. "We must always remember that it is when passions are most inflamed that fairness is most in jeopardy". And he urged Kansas voters to send Republicans to Congress. As they did so, anti-Kavanaugh protesters turned out in force on the US Capitol, many of them breaking barriers to access the steps of the building.

Noisy to the end, the Senate battle featured a call of the roll that was interrupted several times by protesters shouting in the spectators' gallery before Capitol Police removed them.

It's all expected to conclude Saturday afternoon with a final roll call nearly solidly along party lines. And it was fought against the backdrop of the #MeToo movement and Trump's unyielding support of his nominee and occasional mocking of Kavanaugh's accusers.

But McConnell did have a Plan B in mind to quickly pivot to a new nominee if there wasn't enough support in the Senate for Kavanaugh. "What goes around comes around", he said.

At just 53 years old, Kavanaugh could conceivably serve on the court - now evenly divided between liberals and conservatives - for decades, tilting it to the right.

Protesters chanted "Shame" at Manchin later when he talked to reporters outside his office.

West Virginia's Joe Manchin is also planning to vote yes on Kavanaugh-the only Democrat to do so. Susan Collins of ME and red state Democratic Sen.

"It's turned our base on fire", declared Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. A few Democrats sat stone-faced nearby. She voted "present", balancing out Daines' absence. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), all voted to confirm Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh staunchly denied the allegations, but almost all Senate Democrats voted against his confirmation.

Vice President Mike Pence, who presided over the vote, repeatedly called for the Senate sergeant-at-arms to restore order in the chamber. He accused Democrats of emboldening protesters: "They have encouraged mob rule". That reflected Democrats' lasting umbrage over Republicans' 2016 refusal to even consider Merrick Garland, President Obama's nominee to replace the late Antonin Scalia.

Collins said Saturday that crowdsourced funding targeting her was tantamount to "a bribe, or extortion".

In outlining her argument, Collins argued that while she believes that Christine Blasey Ford, who testified last month before the Senate Judiciary Committee that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in the early 1980s, "is a survivor of a sexual assault", she does not believe that the allegation was corroborated.

Brett Kavanaugh had said the stakes of his nomination caused Democrats to try to stop him by any means.

That leaves Chief Justice John Roberts, the most moderate, as the new man in the middle - but still very much a conservative at heart.

Other reports by iNewsToday