Watch as Senate votes to confirm Kavanaugh

The Senate has narrowly voted 50-48 to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court, cementing a conservative majority on the bench for decades.

Posted: Oct 7, 2018 1:33 PM
Updated: Oct 7, 2018 2:19 PM

The Senate voted to send Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court on Saturday, ushering in a generational conservative majority and delivering a huge victory to President Donald Trump after a vicious confirmation battle inflamed by allegations of sexual assault against the nominee.

As shrieks of "shame, shame, shame" echoed from the public galleries, divided and angry senators voted 50-48 to endorse a lifetime seat on the court for Kavanaugh. The protests underscored the vital importance of an appointment that will have sweeping consequences for some of the nation's most contested disputes over abortion, LGBT rights, the scope of presidential power and the role of religion in society.

Hours later, Kavanaugh was sworn in at a private ceremony. Chief Justice John Roberts administered the constitutional oath and retired Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy administered the judicial oath, according to the Supreme Court.

The bitter fight over Kavanaugh now moves into the epicenter of the campaign for the midterm elections in November. Republicans are convinced it will motivate their sleepy base. Democrats believe a backlash against the GOP from women voters could help deliver the House of Representatives. And the nature of the fight over Kavanaugh will trigger recriminations inside the Senate and political reverberations outside for years to come.

In the end, Republicans were able to use their stranglehold on Capitol Hill and the White House to muscle through the confirmation in a power play that reflected the momentous importance of Trump's 2016 election victory over Hillary Clinton.

Still, it was a close-run thing: Kavanaugh's nomination was nearly derailed by Christine Blasey Ford's allegations that the judge assaulted her when they were teenagers in the 1980s, which sparked uproar and forced Republicans to delay the confirmation vote for a week to allow time for a supplemental FBI background check.

Trump's first exuberant response to the vote came in a tweet as he flew to Topeka, Kansas for a campaign rally that is likely to become a raucous victory lap.

"I applaud and congratulate the U.S. Senate for confirming our GREAT NOMINEE, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, to the United States Supreme Court. Later today, I will sign his Commission of Appointment, and he will be officially sworn in. Very exciting!

Kavanaugh will be sworn in as an associate justice of the Supreme Court on Saturday by Chief Justice John Roberts and the man he will replace, the Court's crucial swing vote, Anthony Kennedy.

Democrats furiously accused the GOP of short-circuiting efforts to examine Ford's allegations and of rushing the nomination through while ignoring the changed political dynamics surrounding complaints of misconduct against powerful men ushered in by the #MeToo movement.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called the nomination "one of the saddest moments in the history of the Senate," and said, "this chapter will be a flashing red warning light of what to avoid."

Republicans "conducted one of the least transparent, least fair, most biased processes in Senate history, slanting the table from the very beginning to produce their desired result," he added.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell described Kavanaugh as a "superstar."

McConnell, who stalled Barack Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland to the court in his final year in office and for whom the new conservative majority represents a defining achievement, predicted that Democratic tactics during confirmation battle would electrify Republican voters in November.

"They managed to deliver the only thing we had not been able to figure out how to do, which is to get our folks fired up," McConnell said. "The other side is obviously fired up, they have been all year."

Kavanaugh's confirmation leaves the Senate traumatized with Republicans and Democrats as estranged as at any time in recent memory, reflecting the cavernous divides in the country itself during a presidency that has ignited rare political passions.

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.

The new profile of the court immediately makes Trump a consequential president, for all of the chaos and discord that rages around his White House, and means his legacy will include an achievement that eluded previous Republican presidents -- all of whom had more authentic conservative credentials.

The ferocious nature of the confirmation battle could also have an impact on the Court itself, as Kavanaugh's vehement and politicized defense of his own behavior raised questions about his temperament and whether he could genuinely be a honest broker and implementer of the law in the most sensitive cases.

Ford allegations and partisan fighting

The path to Kavanaugh's confirmation cleared on Friday when two wavering Republicans, Susan Collins of Maine and Jeff Flake of Arizona, said they would vote for Kavanaugh after concluding that Ford's allegations, voiced by her in an emotional hearing last week, could not be corroborated.

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.

Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat facing a tough re-election fight in West Virginia, a state where the President rolled to victory in 2016, also supported Kavanaugh.

Murkowski ultimately withdrew herself from the final tally as a gesture of goodwill toward her Republican colleague, Sen. Steve Daines of Montana, who supports Kavanaugh but was in Montana to walk his daughter down the aisle at her wedding. But the move did not affect the ultimate result of the vote.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 149940

Reported Deaths: 3779
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10097104
Hinds9984199
Harrison7116110
Jackson6360119
Rankin5588103
Lee509195
Madison4799106
Forrest383186
Jones357688
Lauderdale3496147
Lafayette326051
Washington3179107
Lamar291550
Oktibbeha245462
Bolivar241384
Lowndes237364
Panola222350
Neshoba2206118
Marshall217250
Leflore205590
Pontotoc199928
Monroe198177
Sunflower191655
Lincoln190865
Warren176857
Tate169851
Union167325
Copiah164140
Pike162658
Yazoo156039
Scott154829
Itawamba152935
Pearl River152167
Alcorn151328
Coahoma150543
Simpson148353
Prentiss146230
Adams141950
Grenada140945
Leake134944
Holmes130861
George125524
Tippah125230
Covington123439
Winston122224
Hancock121139
Wayne117923
Marion116646
Attala113034
Tishomingo109442
Chickasaw107632
Newton105629
Tallahatchie97027
Clay91327
Clarke90553
Jasper82822
Stone77014
Walthall76928
Calhoun75513
Montgomery74525
Carroll72415
Lawrence71814
Smith71316
Yalobusha71327
Noxubee71017
Perry67026
Tunica61019
Greene60322
Claiborne58616
Jefferson Davis57017
Amite54014
Humphreys53619
Benton49318
Quitman4927
Webster44314
Kemper43618
Wilkinson39822
Jefferson35211
Franklin3395
Choctaw3357
Sharkey30917
Issaquena1164
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 244993

Reported Deaths: 3572
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson32314500
Mobile19859361
Madison13223148
Tuscaloosa13049154
Montgomery12342236
Shelby1031577
Baldwin873398
Lee775766
Morgan662650
Calhoun6301119
Etowah627666
Marshall627255
Houston525638
DeKalb485536
Cullman439442
Limestone425145
St. Clair419555
Lauderdale407854
Elmore406864
Walker3657111
Talladega351454
Jackson320423
Colbert311942
Blount292240
Autauga273542
Franklin252633
Coffee245415
Dale232654
Dallas226232
Chilton223438
Russell22193
Covington218934
Escambia198331
Chambers176850
Tallapoosa176391
Pike158614
Clarke158419
Marion140236
Winston133023
Lawrence127936
Pickens123518
Geneva12218
Marengo121524
Bibb117917
Barbour117310
Butler116541
Randolph102921
Cherokee102224
Hale97031
Clay91924
Fayette91616
Washington91219
Henry8546
Lowndes79929
Monroe78911
Cleburne77214
Macon73722
Crenshaw71130
Bullock69619
Perry6886
Conecuh68414
Lamar6798
Wilcox63518
Sumter58122
Greene42618
Choctaw42213
Coosa3444
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