Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s mine-laden trek to the U.S. Supreme Court ended Saturday with a narrow Senate approval, his skids greased by a November-shy Democrat and a president who defended him against an onslaught of uncorroborated sexual assault claims.
The court returned from eight to nine justices on Saturday night when Chief Justice John Roberts swore Kavanaugh in during a private ceremony.
Also present was retired Justice Anthony Kennedy, who Kavanaugh once clerked for and whose retirement opened up a seat on the nine-member panel
The political fallout won’t be known until November 6, when more than one-third of the senators and every House member will face voters.
‘He’s going in looking very good,’ President Donald Trump said on the South Lawn of the White House, a day after Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins offered her stamp of approval and guaranteed the narrowest of victories.
Hours later on Air Force One, he told reporters he is ‘100 per cent’ certain that Christine Blasey Ford, who claimed Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her decades ago, pointed her finger at the wrong man.
‘There is no one with a squeaky clean past like Brett Kavanaugh,’ the president said. ‘He is an outstanding person and I’m very honored to have chosen him. We’re very honored that he was able to withstand this horrible, horrible attack by the Democrats.’
When Vice President Mike Pence’s gavel fell Saturday, Kavanaugh had won on a 50-48 tally with his lone Republican opponent sitting on the sidelines as a favor to a friend.
Protesters in the Senate gallery, mostly female, were in no mood for good will. They interrupted the vote at several stages, prompting police to remove them. Pence, presiding over the Supreme Court reckoning, demanded order as cries of ‘Shame! Shame!’ and ‘I do not consent!’ rang out.