Brett Kavanaugh Confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court
After weeks of a tense confirmation battle, the U.S. Senate confirmed Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court on Saturday afternoon, in a 50-to-48 vote. The vote followed party lines, with two exceptions: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska). Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) was absent for his daughter's wedding. In honor of his absence, Murkowski withdrew her vote.
Even as Vice President Mike Pence, president of the Senate, called the roll for the vote, protesters shouted from outside the chamber.
Watch Pence declare the results of the vote below.
At the confirmation, Carrie Severino, president of the Judicial Crisis Network, declared, "Judge Kavanaugh has been tested by fire and proved himself to be everything and more than we had expected. He will be another great justice."
Evangelical Christian author Eric Metaxas referred to the loud protesters as "demons." "The demons shrieking in the Senate Gallery know their time is short," he quipped.
"History was made today as Brett Kavanaugh overcame an unimaginable smear campaign to be confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court," Family Research Council (FRC) President Tony Perkins declared in a statement following the vote. "For the first time in decades, this nomination — his nomination — brought with it the reality of returning to a truly constitutionalist court. Many on the Left couldn't stand such a thought. And for that, he and his family have paid a tremendous price."
Kavanaugh will replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, long considered the crucial swing "fifth vote" on the Court. Liberals fear, and conservatives hope, that this new justice will enable the Court to strike down the Roe v. Wade (1973) decision that legalized abortion. If this decision is overturned, each state could pass its own laws on abortion.
Kavanaugh, a judge on the Washington, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, clerked for Justice Kennedy and has written dozens of opinions cited by the Supreme Court. His rulings curbed the administrative state and upheld religious freedom and the Second Amendment.
Many Democrats announced their opposition to President Donald Trump's nominee immediately after he came forward with Kavanaugh's name. Democrats interrupted the regular order of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, from the very first moments onward.
Democratic senators leapt over one another in attempting to vilify Kavanaugh in those hearings. More than 200 protesters were arrested during those opening hearings. That was, of course, just the beginning.
Amid all of this, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) received a letter with allegations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh from Christine Blasey Ford, requesting anonymity. Feinstein met privately with Kavanaugh many times, but she refused to bring up Ford's allegations. Only after the hearings did she come forward with the allegations, stalling the confirmation.