Trump declares 'tremendous victory' after Kavanaugh is sworn into Supreme Court

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Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in Saturday as US Supreme Court justice following the closest Senate confirmation vote in more than a century, marking a major win for President Donald Trump's drive to move the country's political institutions to the right.

Kavanaugh, who denied Ford's allegations, was confirmed by the US Senate on Saturday and was sworn in to the Supreme Court.

Beyond the sexual misconduct allegations, Democrats raised questions about Kavanaugh's temperament and impartiality after he delivered defiant, emotional testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee where he denounced their party.

Asked if it was his proudest moment since he first entered the Senate in 1984, the 76-year-old replied: "I think so".

"We'd been trying to figure out how to get the base excited about this election, and nothing unifies Republicans like a court fight", McConnell said in a phone interview just before the Senate confirmed Kavanaugh in a 50-48 vote. "The damage done today will be enduring".

Flake initially announced he would vote for Kavanaugh, but requested a week-long delay to allow the FBI to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct made against the 53-year-old judge.

Even as Kavanaugh took his oath of office Saturday evening in a quiet private ceremony, not long after the narrowest Senate confirmation in almost a century and a half, protesters chanted outside the court building across the street from the Capitol.

Political strategists in both parties suggest the GOP's enthusiastic embrace of Kavanaugh despite the allegations may have shifted the political landscape - at least temporarily - by injecting new energy into the most passionate Republican voters a month before the election.

"The mob descended on Capitol Hill and tried to intimidate our members into opposing this good man's nomination".

The Time's Up campaign praised a turning tide in United States attitudes, but said "it's heartbreaking but not surprising that this small group of largely white men made a decision that valued the career of one man above all else".

Republicans now hold a 51-49 majority in the Senate, with several seats up for grabs in November.

But how reaction to the Kavanaugh affair will ultimately play out remains to be seen.

To cheers of supporters on Saturday night in Topeka, Trump said he called Kavanaugh to congratulate him upon his ascendancy to the high court. "The partisanship he showed was astounding".

Matt Novak at Gizmodo collected samples of the most obscene memes, a fair number of which depicted the new Supreme Court justice as some sort of glowing-eyed superhero doing battle with women who would take men's rights away.

Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia was the sole Democrat to back Kavanaugh, while Alaska's Republican senator, Lisa Murkowski, was the only Republican to oppose him.

Willing to uphold restrictions on abortion: Most observers believe Kavanaugh will uphold greater abortion restrictions than Justice Kennedy would have.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said he had never been so disturbed than by the events of recent weeks.

Collins' continued support for Kavanaugh throughout the confirmation process earned the ire of organizations like the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, which tweeted ahead of the vote that Collins "can no longer call herself a women's rights champion" after she "sided with those who disbelieved, disrespected, and even mocked survivors". During a campaign rally in MS, the president mocked Ford for not remembering key details of the alleged attack, including the date and location of the party she says she and Kavanaugh attended 36 years ago.

Numerous lawmakers, including undecided Republican senators like Susan Collins and Jeff Flake, said they were appalled by Trump's behavior, but wound up voting for Kavanaugh anyway.

Protests began in earnest when Dr Christine Blasey Ford came forward, alleging he had assaulted her at a party in the 1980s.

"As I watch numerous Senators speak and vote on the floor of the Senate I feel like I'm right back at Yale where half the room is laughing and looking the other way".

This content was republished with permission from CNN.

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