Conservative Judge Brett Kavanaugh Confirmed After Heated National Debate

Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, defended her support for newly confirmed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on Sunday. The 53-year-old succeeded 82-year-old Justice Anthony Kennedy, who retired on July 31 after having served as a pivotal swing vote between conservatives and liberals on the nine-member bench for years.

Either way, Kavanaugh's appointment will shift the balance of power to conservatives for decades to come. Just because Collins voted for Kavanaugh's confirmation does not mean that she doesn't believe Dr. Ford.

Ford testified in the Senate Judiciary Committee that Kavanaugh had drunkenly attacked her at a party when they were teenagers in the early 1980s.

Mr Kavanaugh's appointment is for life and he will strengthen conservative control of the nine-judge court, which has the final say on U.S. law.

Democrats furiously accused the GOP of short-circuiting efforts to examine Ford's allegations and of rushing the nomination through while ignoring the changed political dynamics surrounding complaints of misconduct against powerful men ushered in by the #MeToo movement.

She was torn after a process she said was neither fair to Kavanaugh nor satisfactory for victims of sexual assault. "I don't know by whom, and I'm not certain when, but I do not believe he was the assailant", Collins replied.

"It's certainly been a difficult situation", she said of the hard feelings over the Kavanaugh nomination.

He said Saturday he thinks Republicans "are going to do incredibly well" in the elections after Kavanaugh's confirmation.

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After less than a week of investigation, the FBI presented its 1,000-page document, in which Republicans said it told them "nothing new" about the allegations, and did not corroborate Ford's story.

Collins supported an additional FBI background check into the accusations, which stoked speculation that she might then break with Republicans and vote against Kavanaugh's nomination, but the results of that investigation - along with Bush's calls - paved the way for her support Friday. Heidi Heitkamp, who voted "no" on Kavanaugh.

He added separately that Kavanaugh's nomination "started to sail through" after he mocked Blasey Ford. "First, to the American people, and to our community of LGBTQ families, if you oppose the actions of your elected officials, show up on November 6 and vote", claimed Ed Harris, chief communications officer for the Family Policy Alliance.

Hundreds of protesters were arrested on Capitol Hill this week - including several dozen in the hours leading to the final vote. On Thursday, almost 300 protesters, including comedian and actress Amy Schumer, were detained by Capitol Police during a demonstration.

Kavanaugh was quickly sworn in at the court building, across the street from the Capitol, even as protesters chanted outside. Inside, on the floor of the Senate, with Vice President Mike Pence presiding, senators sat down at their ceremonial desks for a formal vote, which began at approximately 3:45 pm. But Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of NY forecast gains for his party instead: "Change must come from where change in America always begins: the ballot box".

Asked by reporters aboard Air Force One what message he had for women across the country who feel the nomination sends a message that their allegations of sexual assault aren't believed, Trump disagreed with the premise, saying women "were outraged at what happened to Brett Kavanaugh" and "were in many ways stronger than the men in his favor". McConnell extolled Kavanaugh as a "superstar, a serious scholar" who is "legendary for his preparation and possesses the qualifications, the temperament and judicial philosophy" to be a brilliant justice.

Murkowski announced Friday that she would be pairing her vote with Daines as a professional courtesy and a gesture of goodwill. The Senate voted 50 to 48, mostly along party lines. It is both the highest appeals panel and a constitutional court in the country.

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