WASHINGTON — The Senate confirmed Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court Saturday on a50-48 vote, the bitter end to a contentious process that saw demonstrations both outside the Capitol and in the Senate Chamber in the final hours.
“You have to go back 137 years in American history to find a closer vote for a Supreme Court justice,” said Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin on the Senate floor.
Shouts rang out from the Senate vistor’s gallery as the vote began, and offenders were forcibly removed from their seats. The seargent at arms was called upon numerous times to restore order.
“Shame,” a woman screamed as Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., cast his vote in favor of confirmation.
Another protester called Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., a coward. Flake had initially conditioned his yes vote upon further FBI investigation.
The less-than-on-week FBI investigation into sexual assault allegations made by Christine Blasey Ford proved insufficient to sway senators away from confirmation. Durbin said that the the kind of investigation they wanted was not what they recieved.
Ford’s testimony encouraged sexual assault survivors to share their stories.
“Two women from the state of Illinois who told me in their letters they are saying for the first time what happened to them many years ago and how much they identified with Dr. Ford and what she had gone through,” Durbin said.
Prior to the vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reaffirmed his support for the controversial nominee.
“This historically tall mountain of evidence,” McConnell said, “adds up to one clear message. Judge Brett Kavanaugh is among the very best America has to offer.”
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D.-Minn., fired back at her Republican colleagues following what she viewed as disrespectful behavior on the Senate floor.
“As I looked over at them, and all of them hanging out, practically celebrating, I thought let’s see how you feel the day after the election,” Klobuchar said.
Sen. Steve Daines R.-Mont., was not in attendance because he was at his daughter’s wedding.
Hundreds of demonstratos silently swarmed the Capitol Saturday before the senate’s confirmation vote and then erupted, chanting “Remember who you work for.”
Police arrested more than 130 protesters throughout the day, many of them singing “Let it shine” as the bulk them were led away with zip-tied wrists.