A sharply divided Senate - reflecting a deeply divided nation - voted nearly entirely along party lines Saturday afternoon to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Sen. Susan Collins defended her support for newly confirmed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and said she found no corroborating evidence for Christine Blasey Ford's accusations of sexual assault. We finally discovered the one thing that would fire up the Republican base, and we didn't think of it.
"Ironically the behavior of Democrats on Senate Judiciary Committee and then the overreach of the protests at the Capitol have actually energized the Republican base, particularly in the red states where we're trying to pick up seats across America", McConnell said. Key House Democrats have said they would investigate Kavanaugh.
US President Donald Trump walks across the stage before speaking at a campaign rally at Kansas Expocentre, October 6, 2018 in Topeka, Kansas.
Democrats hope that the roll call, exactly a month from elections in which House and Senate control are in play, will prompt infuriated women and liberals to stream to the polls to oust Republicans. In the debate preceding the vote, senators sounded as though they were describing two different men.
But after an 11th-hour investigation by the FBI into the allegations, enough wavering senators chose to back the nomination.
Kavanaugh replaces Justice Anthony Kennedy, who retired in late July after 30 years on the court, spending many of those years as a pivotal vote on hot-button issues like abortion, same-sex marriage and affirmative action.
After Ford's allegations, Democrats and their allies became engaged as seldom before, though there were obvious echoes of Thomas' combative confirmation over the sexual harassment accusations of Anita Hill, who worked for him at two federal agencies.
He compared the contentious battle over Kavanaugh, who was accused of sexual misconduct, with his decision not to even bring former President Obama's nominee Merrick Garland up for a vote.
During a rally in MS last week, Trump had mimicked Ford's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, in which she told lawmakers there were details of the alleged sexual assault she couldn't remember.
"A week that will live in infamy for the US Senate, permanently diminishing its stature", said Michael R. Bromwich.
"The question that was the important question was 'was he a blackout drunk?' And he said that was not the case and the testimony that we had, in the interviews did not support that contention", she said.
Kavanaugh was sworn in as a justice on Saturday evening, in Washington, DC, after an extraordinarily fraught nomination that sparked angry protests, nailbiting votes, and a national reckoning about sexual assault allegations and who should be believed. Hundreds were detained or arrested in various demonstrations leading up to Saturday's final vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation. Kavanaugh denied all allegations against him.
He said Saturday he thinks Republicans "are going to do incredibly well" in the midterm elections after Kavanaugh's confirmation.
"We must always remember that it is when passions are most inflamed that fairness is most in jeopardy", said Collins, perhaps the chamber's most moderate Republican.
A staunch opponent of newly confirmed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Sen. "I don't know. I don't know".
Residents of a townhouse near the Washington home of Senator Susan Collins, a moderate Republican whose backing helped get Kavanaugh over the line on Saturday, flew the flag of the lawmaker's home state ME upside down in protest. "Vote them out!" and carried signs including, "I am a survivor, not a troublemaker!"