McConnell: Kavanaugh deserved an up-or-down vote

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Kavanaugh had served as associate counsel and staff secretary under Bush, who has repeatedly praised him as a candidate for the Supreme Court. Vice President Mike Pence presided over the roll call, his potential tie-breaking vote unnecessary. Democrats believe a backlash against the GOP from women voters could help deliver the House of Representatives.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor said the nine justices recognize the small world they inhabit, suggesting that the tense atmosphere surrounding Kavanaugh's nomination is unlikely to be replicated on the court.

Pointing to television footage of protesters outside the Capitol, he said their numbers paled in comparison to the thousands of supporters awaiting him in Kansas. It is both the highest appeals panel and a constitutional court in the country.

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

On Saturday night, Trump portrayed his successful confirmation vote on Kavanaugh as a reason voters should elect Republicans in next month's nationwide congressional elections, when the political control of Congress is at stake. The spectacle of Americans having popular rights stripped away by a court whose majority was born in such partisan circumstances is likely to profoundly affect its perception among the public. It generated daily headlines rivalled only by the U.S. quadrennial presidential elections.

Protesters rallied in Washington and other United States cities against the ascent of the 53-year-old judge, who has faced multiple allegations of sexual misconduct and been criticized for his angry partisan rhetoric. We simply followed the tradition in America, which is that if you have a Senate of a different party than the president, you don't fill a vacancy created in a presidential year. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), a Trump ally, said on "Fox News Sunday".

The embattled Kavanaugh was poised to win Senate confirmation later on Saturday, weathering sexual misconduct accusations and criticism of his character and temperament.

His nomination was greeted by staunch protest in the District with thousands of anti-Kavanaugh protesters swarming Capitol Hill over the past week. While the Republican Party is of course free to stake out whatever political stance it chooses, its shameful performance during the entire Kavanaugh saga was like waving a giant red flag warning women not beholden to the GOP to support it.

McConnell had declined to hold any hearings on Garland after he was nominated in March 2016 following the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

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Coons, instead, turned his attention to Trump for mocking Ford last week and said the Kavanaugh controversy was an indictment of the president's character as much as it was a battle within the Senate, coming as more women are speaking up about harrowing experiences.

"I believe we are dealing with issues right now that are bigger than a nominee", she said, and it "just may be that in my view he's not the right man for the court at this time".

Later he spoke to reporters aboard Air Force One, saying Mr Kavanaugh had withstood a "horrible attack by the Democrats" and that women were "outraged" at what had happened to the nominee. Not the heartfelt testimony of Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of attempting to rape...

Christine Blasey Ford is sworn in before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sept. 27, 2018 in Washington.

"My heart goes out to anyone who has experienced any type of sexual assault in their life", Manchin said.

Image: Judge Kavanaugh being sworn in.

Bush also reaffirmed his commitment to Kavanaugh after Ford and other accusers brought allegations of sexual misconduct against the nominee.

Kavanaugh's nomination as a replacement for retiring justice Anthony Kennedy was controversial from the start - but the initial focus was exclusively on the conservative views held by the married father of two.