Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to serve as a justice on the Supreme Court of the United States with a vote of 50-48 on Saturday.
After weeks of a brutal fight and an FBI investigation into allegations of sexual assault made against him, several key swing senators voted in favor of confirming Kavanaugh, including Republicans Susan Collins of Maine and Jeff Flake of Arizona, and Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia — the only Democrat to cross party lines.
Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska was the one Republican present who did not vote to confirm Kavanaugh. She abstained from voting, saying hers would have canceled out the affirmative vote from Republican Sen. Steve Daines of Montana, were he present. Daines missed the vote to walk his daughter down the aisle on Saturday.
“He unquestionably deserves confirmation, and the country deserves such a Supreme Court justice,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the floor ahead of the vote, adding: “We all know the events of recent weeks have strained the country’s comity and fanned the flames of partisan discord, but even more critically, our very commitment to the basic principles of fairness and justice is also being tested.”
“A vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh today is also a vote to send a clear message about what the Senate is,” he continued. “This is an institution where the evidence and the facts matter. This is an institution where the evidence and the facts matter. This is the chamber in which the politics of intimidation and personal destruction do not win the day.”
A number of protesters in the Senate gallery interrupted the voting process several times, raising their fists and yelling, “I don’t consent.” One woman was led screaming out of the chamber when Manchin announced his vote for Kavanaugh.
Kavanaugh will be replacing Justice Anthony Kennedy, who announced his retirement from the court in June. His confirmation gives the court a reliable conservative majority for the first time in decades.