Kavanaugh controversy in the Trump White House

Sydney Strickland, News Reporter

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The Senate confirmed Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court on Saturday with a vote of 50-48. The vote ended a three-week battle between republicans and democrats.

Kavanaugh, age 53, was officially sworn in late on Saturday afternoon enabling him to begin participating in the work of the Supreme Court immediately. The ceremony was presided over by Chief Justice John Roberts and outgoing Justice Anthony Kennedy. Kavanaugh’s wife and two daughters also attended the ceremony.

The final confirmation vote took place on Saturday afternoon with Vice President Mike Pence presiding. There were several interruptions throughout the vote from protesters shouting from the gallery. Numerous protesters were removed and arrested by capitol police.

From the first announcement of Kavanaugh’s nomination, a number of senate democrats vowed to do all they could to block his appointment to the Supreme Court. Their efforts incited numerous protests in Washington, D.C. and across the country.

Beyond the anticipated protests, Kavanaugh’s Senate Judiciary hearing proceeded through the expected process. That is until allegations of sexual assault from his high school years surfaced from Christine Blasey Ford.

Ford’s allegations prompted an additional day of testimony by the Senate Judiciary Committee to hear from both Ford and Kavanaugh. The emotional and impassioned testimony from Ford and Kavanaugh prompted members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to request an additional investigation and background review by the FBI.

The FBI completed their extended investigation and background check on Judge Kavanaugh and the other named witnesses late Wednesday, Oct. 3. Finding no corroborating statements supporting Ford’s accusations in the updated FBI information, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell began the process toward the final confirmation vote.

All of the senators were given the opportunity to review the additional FBI information on Thursday, Oct. 4 during which numerous protests erupted on Capitol Hill. Much of the protests and media attention focused on the handful of senators who remained undecided at that time, including: Sens. Susan Collins (R-MA), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).

As the final vote approached, Sens. Collins, Flake and Manchin each affirmed that the lack of corroboration from other named witnesses for Ford’s allegations had persuaded them to vote to support Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. Sen. Lisa Murkowski stated that she was not as convinced. She eventually chose to vote “present” at the final confirmation, so that Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont) could attend his daughter’s wedding back in Montana.

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