Brett Kavanaugh sworn in as 114th Supreme Court justice

Demonstrators shouted

In a Senate speech that was disrupted by protesters before it began and met with applause from GOP senators when it ended, Collins declared, "I will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh".

The announcements by Republican Susan Collins of ME and Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia ended most of the suspense over a political battle that has transfixed the nation - though die-hard Democrats insisted on arguing through the night to a mostly empty Senate chamber.

Murkowski said later she opposes Kavanaugh but will ask to be recorded as "present" during Saturday's confirmation vote to accommodate Republican Sen.

Additionally, Ford's lawyer responded to President Donald Trump's comments at a campaign rally earlier this week where he had appeared to mock her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Republicans argued that a supplemental FBI investigation instigated by wavering GOP senators and ordered by the White House turned up no corroborating witnesses to the claims and that Kavanaugh had sterling credentials for the court.

Confirmation of Kavanaugh would give Trump a clear win in his drive to cement conservative dominance of the high court, a bitter outcome for Democrats who could not get their own liberal nominee confirmed due to Republican delaying tactics in 2016. She said that Kavanaugh was a "man filled with anger and aggression" at last week's Senate hearing. "It's just not worth it".

"I go back and look to that, it is pretty high that a judge shall act at all times, not just sometimes when you're wearing your robe, but all times in a manner that promotes public confidence", Murkowski said.


After Ford's allegations, Democrats and their allies became engaged as seldom before, though there were obvious echoes of Thomas' combative confirmation over the sexual harassment accusations of Anita Hill, who worked for him at two federal agencies. Exactly one month from elections in which House and Senate control are in play, Democrats tried making sure that female voters were paying attention.

Kavanaugh had served as associate counsel and staff secretary under Bush, who has repeatedly praised him as a candidate for the Supreme Court. By the end of the day, there was a slim, 51-49 vote tally in favor of Kavanaugh's confirmation.

Demonstrators block the main entrance door as they take the steps of the US Supreme Court protesting the appointment of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in Washington DC, on October 6, 2018. She said on the Senate floor Friday evening that Kavanaugh is "a good man" but his "appearance of impropriety has become unavoidable". Then she took her seat, looking down with a stone-faced expression.

Among those closely watched is Republican Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, a frequent Trump critic who is not running for re-election and has expressed concern about Judge Kavanaugh.

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. That reflected Democrats' lasting umbrage over Republicans' 2016 refusal to even consider Merrick Garland, Obama's nominee to replace the late Antonin Scalia. They said he also seemed ready to rule for Trump if federal authorities probing his 2016 campaign's alleged connections to Russian Federation try to pursue him in court.

His ascent to the Supreme Court was thrown into doubt last week after university research psychologist Christine Blasey Ford testified that he had sexually assaulted her at a Washington area party in the early 1980s. "This is why women don't report sexual assaults", he said. Chief Justice John Roberts administered the constitutional oath and retired Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy administered the judicial oath, according to the Supreme Court.

Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, called the 53-year-old Kavanaugh a victim of "an ugly left-wing smear campaign" and charged Democrats with character assassination.

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