The Kavanaugh decision

Kavanaugh confirmed despite controversy

By on October 9, 2018

The Senate voted 50-48 to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh as the ninth justice on the United States Supreme Court on Saturday, Oct. 6, despite controversy over allegations of sexual assault by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.

The confirmation decision marks the end of a bitterly partisan debate over Kavanaugh’s fitness for office. Of the 50 senators who voted “yes” for Kavanaugh, all but one, Joe Manchin (D-WV) were Republicans.

The White House/Flickr
One Republican senator, Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), voted “no,” while other key swing Republican senators voted “yes.” Kavanaugh’s success was sealed by Senator Susan Collin (R-ME) and Republican Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ), who remained undecided until Friday.

Collins, in a highly anticipated speech on Friday, announced her support of Kavanaugh which all but confirmed his passage the following day.

Collins cited several reasons for her support of Kavanaugh, including his firm belief in precedent, meaning that he believes that previous judicial decisions should be upheld as a standard for future decisions.

The “precedent” that is at stake for many Americans is Roe v. Wade, which would decide the future of abortion rights in America. Collins, who is pro-choice, used Kavanaugh’s commitment to precedent to explain her support for Kavanaugh despite Trump’s July promise to only appoint pro-life justices to the Supreme Court.

Collins, who said she reviewed the results of the recent FBI investigation about the sexual assault allegations, believed supporting Kavanaugh was necessary to uphold America’s promise of presumed innocence.

“I worry that departing from this presumption could lead to a lack of public faith in the judiciary and would be hugely damaging to the confirmation process moving forward,” Collins said, according to a New York Times transcript of her speech.

She concluded saying that she will support Kavanaugh in hopes of lessening divisions in the Supreme Court. Collin’s decision resulted in a movement to prevent her reelection in 2020. Donors are contributing $20.20 to support whoever her opponent will be and, according to Esquire, over $2 million has been raised.

Prior to his final confirmation on Saturday, Kavanaugh passed a procedural vote in the Senate 51-49 on Friday, in which the result was highly uncertain. The procedural vote was necessary to decide whether Kavanaugh’s fate would be advanced to a final confirmation vote.

Kavanaugh’s victory on Friday, served as a strong indicator that he would be confirmed. This  incited many emotions.

Protestors marched outside the Supreme Court on Saturday, and about 150 were arrested, according to CNN. Among the protestors were sexual assault survivors who believe the Senate let them down.

Conversely, some Americans who support Kavanaugh, while happy about his confirmation, are still expressing outrage at Dr. Ford for coming forward with an allegation of sexual assault.

Ford is reportedly receiving death threats and according to her lawyer Debra Katz, it will be “quite some time” before she is able to move back into her home, according to People Magazine.

While controversial, many Republicans, including the President Trump, are thrilled with Kavanaugh’s confirmation and view Ford’s allegation as just a small obstacle on his road to success.

“I applaud and congratulate the U.S. Senate for confirming our GREAT NOMINEE, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, to the United States Supreme Court,” Trump tweeted on Saturday. “Later today, I will sign his Commission of Appointment, and he will be officially sworn in. Very exciting!”

Kavanaugh was sworn in on Saturday and began his tenure as the 114th Supreme Court Justice Tuesday, Oct. 9.

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