Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

Who is Brett Kavanaugh, US Supreme Court's new judge

Brett Kavanaugh Confirmed To Supreme Court By 50-48 Vote Kavanaugh poised to win SCOTUS seat Saturday afternoon
Freda Brock | 07 October, 2018, 19:55

The Senate backed Brett Kavanaugh's nomination by 50 votes to 48.

Democratic senators, who had battled hard to block the 53-year-old judge, insisted the caustic battle over Kavanaugh would galvanize Democrats at the polls. 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.

The nomination process has ripped open the scabs on the never-healed wounds of polarisation on the USA body politic exactly a month before the mid-term elections to Congress that can determine the future of Trump's presidency.

Kavanaugh was quickly sworn in at the court building, across the street from the Capitol, even as protesters chanted outside.

Still, it was a close-run thing: Kavanaugh's nomination was almost 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 Federal Bureau of Investigation background check.

Kavanaugh's confirmation had already been all but sealed Friday, when he won the support of key Senate Republican Susan Collins and conservative Democrat Joe Manchin.

Every Democrat voted against the Trump appointee, except for Sen.

"Our base is fired up". "We will get you out of office".

She was torn after a process she said was neither fair to Kavanaugh nor satisfactory for victims of sexual assault. In the short term he will provide the decisive fifth vote for a conservative majority on the nine-member court.

They also fear that the court can now make several rulings whittling down social legislation and programmes for healthcare, aid for the poor, reservations in college admissions and immigration, while being pro-business and stricter on law and order.

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They appeared to have counted on delaying the confirmation process so that if the Senate majority flips to their side in the November elections, they can block him and temper Trump's future nominations.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 11-10 on party lines on September 28 to move Kavanaugh's nomination to the full Senate.

He denied the accusations and launched an impassioned attack on his accusers, leading to fresh charges that he was temperamentally unsuited to the judgeship.

Some Democrats have indicated Kavanaugh could face investigations or even potential impeachment if they win control of the House and possibly the Senate but Hirono distanced herself from those demands, saying she was focused on the November congressional elections.

Kavanaugh had always been mentioned as a potential Supreme Court pick, and when President Donald Trump nominated him on July 9 to succeed Kennedy, his path to the court looked like it would be a smooth one, with support not only from conservative lawyers and legal scholars, but also from Washington insiders of all ideological stripes.

The two-vote margin of victory made it the closest Supreme Court confirmation vote since 1881 - and by far the most contentious since Clarence Thomas in 1991. Ford alleges that Kavanaugh pinned her down at a party and held a hand over her mouth to muffle her screams while he tried to take her clothes off.

In the procedural vote Friday that handed Republicans their crucial initial victory, senators voted 51-49 to limit debate, defeating Democratic efforts to scuttle the nomination with endless delays.

The investigation was wrapped up in about five days and it convinced Flake to back Kavanaugh.

A day after Justice Kavanaugh, as he is now titled, was granted the ninth seat on the nation's highest court, Collins was asked point blank by Dana Bash on CNN's State of the Union whether she had betrayed women.

"I applaud and congratulate the U.S. Senate for confirming our GREAT NOMINEE, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, to the United States Supreme Court". Indeed, McConnell argued, Kavanaugh is "among the best the country has to offer" and "unquestionably deserves confirmation, and the country deserves such a Supreme Court justice".

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