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06th Oct 2018

US Senate confirms Brett Kavanaugh to Supreme Court

Wayne Farry

Brett Kavanaugh US Senate Supreme Court

He was confirmed on Saturday evening.

Under-fire judge Brett Kavanaugh has been confirmed by the US Senate and will assume his role as the next Supreme Court justice after an historically tight vote on Saturday which saw 50 votes for his confirmation and 48 against.

Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska was the only Republican to oppose the confirmation, but having paired her vote with the absent yes vote of Senator Steve Daines, it remained off of the official count.

The judge, who is a darling of the Republican and libertarian organisation the Federalist Society, has been the subject of a host of sexual assault allegations since being nominated by US president Donald Trump.

The most high profile of these allegations was that of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a California university professor who claimed that she had been sexually assaulted by Kavanaugh at a high school party in the summer of 1982.

Speaking in front of the US Senate judiciary committee at the end of September, the 51-year-old said:

“During my time at this school, girls at Holton-Arms frequently met and became friendly with boys from all-boys schools in the area, including the Landon school, Georgetown Prep, Gonzaga high school, as well as our country clubs and other places where kids and families socialised.

“This is how I met Brett Kavanaugh, the boy who sexually assaulted me.

“I do not remember all of the details of how that gathering came together, but like many that summer, it was almost surely a spur-of-the-moment gathering.

“I truly wish I could be more helpful with more detailed answers to all of the questions that have and will be asked about how I got to the party and where it took place and so forth. I don’t have all the answers, and I don’t remember as much as I would like to.

“But the details that – about that night, that bring me here today are the ones I will never forget. They have been seared into my memory, and have haunted me episodically as an adult.”

Kavanaugh, who categorically denied the claims every step of the way, was widely criticised for his own testimony in front of the judiciary committee, reacting angrily to many questions and repeating senator’s questions back to them.

After being questioned as to whether he was a heavy drinker or had a drinking problem in either high school or at any point in his life, Kavanaugh replied to the negative before asking the senator if she herself had a drinking problem.

An FBI investigation with limited scope followed the hearing and after presenting its findings, the Senate judiciary committee gave the go ahead for a confirmation vote.

His nomination and subsequent confirmation have provoked widespread and furious protests from women across the United States and the wider world, at a time when the Me Too movement is more prominent in our society than ever before.

Examples of this have come throughout the entire process, but particularly on Saturday, as protesters attempted to shout down the Senate vote confirming the judge.

His confirmation has severe ramifications for the American judicial system, and represents one of the biggest political victories of Donald Trump’s presidency to date.

It strengthens the Republicans power in the nine-judge Supreme Court, and has left many fearing that it may eventually lead to the overturning of Roe v Wade, a landmark Supreme Court ruling from 1973 which made abortion legal in the United States.

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