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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: 331863

Reported Deaths: 7494
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22855279
Hinds22625437
Harrison19462326
Rankin14765286
Jackson14233251
Madison10658227
Lee10398178
Jones8713169
Forrest8164157
Lauderdale7528243
Lowndes6761150
Lamar665988
Lafayette6446124
Washington5497139
Bolivar4907134
Pearl River4889149
Oktibbeha476898
Panola4719112
Marshall4648106
Warren4612125
Pontotoc438873
Monroe4243137
Union424379
Neshoba4179180
Lincoln4088115
Hancock402788
Leflore3562125
Pike3511111
Tate348988
Alcorn343174
Sunflower342293
Adams331987
Yazoo330573
Scott330175
Simpson313690
Copiah311467
Itawamba309580
Coahoma308285
Tippah298368
Prentiss292563
Covington280183
Marion278980
Leake277975
Wayne269942
Grenada265688
George259851
Newton256064
Tishomingo235769
Winston235084
Jasper225748
Attala220373
Chickasaw215960
Stone209137
Holmes194974
Clay191554
Tallahatchie181542
Clarke181480
Calhoun177332
Smith175334
Yalobusha169240
Walthall140448
Lawrence137026
Greene134934
Amite131843
Noxubee131135
Perry130838
Montgomery130644
Carroll124531
Webster116732
Jefferson Davis112934
Tunica110827
Benton104425
Claiborne104231
Kemper100329
Humphreys99033
Franklin85923
Quitman83519
Choctaw80919
Wilkinson73232
Jefferson69028
Sharkey51518
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 565510

Reported Deaths: 11468
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson828061584
Mobile44938853
Madison36534532
Tuscaloosa26589465
Shelby26409255
Montgomery25598623
Baldwin23319324
Lee16691179
Calhoun15030332
Morgan14877288
Etowah14563368
Marshall12723235
Houston11302292
Elmore10576217
St. Clair10449251
Limestone10420158
Cullman10198204
Lauderdale9883253
DeKalb9226191
Talladega8705187
Walker7545286
Autauga7388113
Jackson7216117
Blount7147139
Colbert6522142
Coffee5962131
Dale5224117
Russell463942
Chilton4603117
Covington4502125
Franklin439781
Tallapoosa4343156
Escambia414782
Chambers3813124
Dallas3674163
Clarke361562
Marion3354106
Pike323179
Lawrence3176101
Winston289672
Bibb276165
Geneva267383
Marengo257367
Barbour241860
Pickens238862
Butler233571
Hale230578
Fayette223863
Henry203345
Cherokee192347
Randolph192244
Monroe190241
Washington174539
Macon167252
Crenshaw163457
Clay161859
Cleburne158445
Lamar149138
Lowndes143854
Wilcox128431
Bullock125342
Conecuh117730
Coosa115229
Perry109628
Sumter107532
Greene95935
Choctaw63125
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