In Shift, McConnell Implies He'd Consider Trump SCOTUS Nom In Election Year

In Shift, McConnell Implies He'd Consider Trump SCOTUS Nom In Election Year

Darren Sullivan
October 8, 2018

A sharply divided Senate - reflecting a deeply divided nation - voted nearly entirely along party lines Saturday afternoon to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Republican Senator Susan Collins, who voted for Kavanaugh after a cliff-hanger, said it was a "confirmation process that has become so dysfunctional, it looks more like a caricature of a gutter-level political campaign than a solemn occasion". "I think it was a very important thing".

Picking up the pieces after a contentious nomination battle, the Senate's majority leader said Sunday that the chamber won't be irreparably damaged by the wrenching debate over sexual misconduct that has swirled around new Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

To cheers of supporters at the Kansas Expocentre in Topeka, Trump declared it a "historic night", not long after signing the paperwork to make Kavanaugh's status official.

"There were enough other aspects and allegations and reports that we wanted the FBI to investigate", Hirono replied to Bash.

The accusations against Kavanaugh energized the #MeToo social media movement that emerged after high-profile accusations of sexual assault and harassment by men in politics, the media and the entertainment industry.

In the 2nd Congressional District, which includes western Wilson County, Republican U.S. Rep. George Holding had not released a statement as of 5:30 p.m.

Kavanaugh, who denied Ford's allegations, was confirmed by the Senate on Saturday with a razor-thin 50-48 vote.

These included the emergence of two other accusers; an unforgettable Senate Judiciary Committee hearing at which a composed Ford and a seething Kavanaugh told their diametrically opposed stories, and a truncated FBI investigation that the agency said showed no corroborating evidence and Democrats lambasted as a White House-shackled farce.

The dispute over Kavanaugh has added fuel to campaigning for the elections in November when Democrats will try to take control of Congress from the Republicans.

"It's a big day for the country, a big day for the administration and a big day for the Republican Senate", McConnell said.

McConnell nixes Democrats’ request for Federal Bureau of Investigation briefing on Kavanaugh probe
Trump trashed Ford even though the FBI is looking into the matter, virtually prejudging the outcome of the limited investigation. Flake told NBC's " Today " show Wednesday that mocking "something this sensitive at a political rally is just not right".

Lisa Murkowski of Alaska was the only Republican vote against Kavanaugh's nomination, but chose to withdraw after presenting Montana Senator Steve Gaines' vote as it would not change the count.

The bitter battle over Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court has exacerbated the nation's political divide and left many Americans emotionally raw.

Two years ago, McConnell blocked a vote on Garland, citing what he said was a tradition of not filling vacancies in a presidential election year.

The sexual abuse allegations against Kavanaugh did not derail his confirmation.

Democrats said Kavanaugh's partisan defense of himself, in which he said he was victim of a "political hit", was enough itself to disqualify him from the court.

"We'll see if there is a vacancy in 2020", McConnell said.

But Democrats hope women angered at the Kavanaugh accusations will turn out in large numbers to vote out Republicans.

McConnell told The Associated Press in an interview that the "mob" of opposition - confronting senators in the hallways and at their homes - united his narrowly divided GOP majority as Kavanaugh's confirmation teetered and will give momentum to his party this fall.

She demurred, but then added: "I'm focused like a laser beam on the elections".

With Kavanaugh taking a seat on the bench, the court is now majority conservative. We have to treat each with respect and dignity and a sense of amicability that the rest of the world doesn't always share, " Sotomayor said. They come and go. "I don't know. I don't know". All these angry people know that these people sitting in the Senate are making these decisions.