McConnell calls opposition to Kavanaugh a ‘great political gift’ to Republicans

Marsha Scott
October 10, 2018

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

The announcements by Republican Susan Collins of ME and Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia ended most of the suspense over a political battle that has transfixed the nation - though die-hard Democrats insisted on arguing through the night to a mostly empty Senate chamber.

In a twist, Murkowski voted "present" Saturday as a courtesy to Republican Kavanaugh supporter Steve Daines, who was to walk his daughter down the aisle at her wedding in Montana.

His confirmation provides a defining accomplishment for President Donald Trump and the Republican Party, which found a unifying force in the cause of putting a new conservative majority on the court. "The fact that the FBI did not interview either Christine or Judge Kavanaugh, by itself, renders absurd any assertion that the investigation was 'thorough'".

Collins' dramatic decision, laid out in a almost 45-minute speech on the Senate floor Friday, pushed Republicans over the edge and became a turning point for Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh's confirmation was all but sealed on Friday when he won the support of key Senate Republican Susan Collins and conservative Democrat Joe Manchin. The Senate voting 51 to 49 to advance his nomination.

"I do not believe that these charges can fairly prevent Judge Kavanaugh from serving on the court", the senator said on the Senate floor. "I'm glad that Dr. Ford was heard; I'm glad that Judge Kavanaugh was heard. It's just not worth it".

That's one way we might feel a direct impact. "We will get you out of office". She says senators are "deliberately ignoring" Kavanaugh's behavior. That balanced out the absence without affecting the outcome, and gave Kavanaugh the same two-vote margin he'd have received had both lawmakers voted.

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The White House, McConnell said, "took some grief for a decision they didn't make" - referring to the scope of the FBI's background investigation into allegations that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted two women in separate instances decades ago. Exactly one month from elections in which House and Senate control are in play, Democrats tried making sure that female voters were paying attention. Kavanaugh has repeatedly denied the allegation. Now, if we want to look at all the things that went wrong in this process, there are many.

Ford privately shared her story with the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. "He's a good man, he's clearly a learned judge, but in my conscience, because that's how I have to vote at the end of the day, I could not conclude that he is the right person for the court at this time", she said. An appellate court judge on the District of Columbia circuit for the past 12 years, he pushed for the Senate vote as hard as Republican leaders - not just to reach this capstone of his legal career, but in fighting to clear his name.

Both testified about the alleged incident at a hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee last month.

The group running an online fundraising campaign to try to pressure Collins into changing her mind say its money will go to the Republican's 2020 Democratic opponent, if she follows through and votes to confirm Kavanaugh.

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

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.

Kavanaugh would replace the retired Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was a swing vote on issues such as abortion, campaign finance and same-sex marriage.

Earlier Saturday, Trump praised Senate Republicans for their work in getting Kavanaugh confirmed and said he believes a speech he made earlier this week attacking the credibility of accuser Christine Blasey Ford helped generate support for the embattled nominee.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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