Conservative Judge Brett Kavanaugh Confirmed After Heated National Debate

The vote wasn't a peaceful one by any means: Police dragged screaming protesters out of the Senate chamber.

The Senate voted Saturday to confirm Brett M. Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court, following contentious and heated hearings into allegations of sexual assault that sharply divided the Senate and the nation. The Senate voted 50 to 48, mostly along party lines. Joe Manchin of West Virginia was the only Democrat to vote in favor of confirmation. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska was the only Republican who did not vote to confirm; rather than a “no” vote, she voted “present.”

Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images
Senator Lisa Murkowski

This is the second Supreme Court appointment by President Donald Trump, who said Judge Kavanaugh would be sworn in the same day.

The vote was not a quiet affair. Capitol police dragged some screaming protesters out of the chamber.

Though the fight to confirm Trump’s pick is now official over, the impact of Kavanaugh’s confirmation will have a lasting effect. In addition to the protests by women and sexual assault survivors in recent weeks, associate justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor weighed in Friday suggesting that the court’s reputation will be harmed by the partisan bickering.

Anticipating Kavanaugh’s confirmation, some groups have explored the impeachment process for removing him from the high court. To date, only one Supreme Court justice has been impeached, though he was acquitted.

Lambda Legal, HRC, AIDS United, The Trevor Project, and GLAAD were among 73 national, state, and local organizations that signed a letter opposing Kavanaugh’s nomination. The letter, in part, read: ““his views on civil rights issues are fundamentally at odds with securing equality, liberty, justice and dignity under the law for all people, including LGBT people and people living with HIV.”

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