Senate Confirms Brett Kavanaugh to Supreme Court

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Senate Confirms Brett Kavanaugh to Supreme Court

After perhaps the most contentious Supreme Court nomination battle in U.S. history, Brett Kavanaugh is poised to take a seat on the nation's highest court.

 

By a vote of 50-48, the Senate today confirmed Kavanaugh. All the Republican senators except Lisa Murkowski of Alaska voted in favor of Kavanaugh. All the Democratic senators except Joe Manchin of West Virginia voted against him.

 

The Supreme Court seat became open when Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement in June. Because Kavanaugh would replace Kennedy, who was seen as a swing vote for many important issues, this nomination was especially ideological from the beginning. Liberals viewed it as threat to court precedents that protected gay marriage, privacy rights, and abortion. Conservatives saw this as a chance to solidify a court majority that would adhere to the text of the Constitution.

 

During his first round of Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, Kavanaugh faced questions about his judiical philosophy and his views on adhering to precedent. Democratic senators had a litany of complaints about the process, saying that they had not received enough information and accusing the Republican majority of rushing the process. Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley countered that Democrats were simply using any means necessary, regardless of whether they were fair or not, to sink the nomination.

 

This dispute was overshadowed when Dr. Christine Blassey Ford came forward with accusations that Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her during high school. Kavanaugh denied the allegations. The Judiciary Committee held a meeting to hear from the two as other accusations about misconduct came to light. Republican senators defended Kavanaugh, arguing that this was a smear campaign, while Democratic senators said that Americans should believe Dr. Blassey Ford. Republican Senator Jeff Flake brokered a deal to delay the full Senate's consideration of the nomination by a week so the FBI could investigate the assault claims.

 

The FBI completed its report and presented it to senators on Thursday. Yesterday, the Senate voted to proceed to 30-hours of debate.

 

The Supreme Court's term began on October 1. Kavanaugh will likely take the oath of office within days and join the court so he can begin hearing cases.

 

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