Fallout from the Kavanaugh hearings is mixing with divisions over health care, President Donald Trump and immigration reform to create a neck-and-neck race in the district 80 miles (129 kilometers) east of San Francisco where Democrats count a slender registration edge and whites and Hispanics make up nearly equal parts of the population. U.S. voters like Lou Waller said: “It all stems from the Kavanaugh hearin. I’ve got a bitter taste in my mouth about the whole situation.”
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh sought to put a bruising confirmation battle behind him on Monday at a White House ceremony in which President Donald Trump declared him innocent of sexual misconduct and apologised for the heated process. “The Supreme Court is an institution of law. It is not a partisan or political institution,” Brett Kavanaugh said. “The Supreme Court is a team of nine, and I will always be a team player on the team of nine.”
The two-vote margin of victory made it the closest US Supreme Court confirmation vote since 1881 — and by far the most contentious since Clarence Thomas in 1991. Trump told supporters at a rally in Kansas after signing Kavanaugh’s commission aboard Air Force One.
“This is a historic night. I stand before you today on the heels of a tremendous victory for our nation, our people and our beloved Constitution.”
Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation was all but sealed on Friday when he won the support of key Senate Republican Susan Collins and conservative Democrat Joe Manchin.
“This is a great day for America,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Fox News late Friday, congratulating his colleagues for “refusing to roll over under all of this intense pressure.”
Before the vote, all eyes were on republican Senators Jeff Flake (Arizona), Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), who had been undecided on Kavanaugh. Flake and Collins both said on Thursday that the report seemed “thorough,” prompting speculations that they would vote to confirm the judge, and both gave Kavanaugh an “aye” on Friday. U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said on Friday. “I hope we can say no to mob rule by voting to confirm Judge Kavanaugh,” Grassley added.
Trump said on Twitter: “The very rude elevator screamers are paid professionals only looking to make Senators look bad. Don’t fall for it! Also, look at all of the professionally made identical signs. Paid for by Soros and others. These are not signs made in the basement from love! #Troublemakers”.
Senators Jeff Flake and Susan Collins were among the lawmakers who took issue with comments Trump made regarding Christine Blasey Ford, a university professor from California who detailed her sexual assault allegation against Kavanaugh at an extraordinary Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last week. “It’s just not right. I wish he hadn’t … done it. I just say it’s kind of appalling,” Flake said of Trump’s comments.
US President Donald Trump said: “Judge Kavanaugh showed America exactly why I nominated him. His testimony was powerful, honest and riveting. Democrats’ search and destroy strategy is disgraceful and this process has been a total sham and effort to delay, obstruct and resist. The Senate must vote!”
U.S. President Donald Trump said: “The second accuser has nothing. She thinks maybe it could have been him, maybe not. She admits that she was drunk. She admits that there are time lapses. Thirty-six years ago, nobody ever knew about it or heard about it, and now a new charge comes up and she said it might not be him, and there were gaps and she said she was totally inebriated, and she was all messed up. The Democrats are playing a con game. They know it’s a con game,” he said. “It’s a shame that you can do this to a person’s life.”
The allegation that Kavanaugh assaulted a woman while in high school, however, now gives those endangered Democrats an escape hatch. They can oppose the nominee without appearing to voters as if they are defying the president, strategists said. Kavanaugh has denied the assault allegation, calling it “completely false.”
“For those Democrats up for re-election from states that Trump carried, they now have absolutely no reason to vote for Kavanaugh. Period. End of story,” said Jim Manley, a former high-ranking Democratic Senate aide. “They have all the cover they need.”
Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, raised questions as a White House aide more than a decade ago about whether the 1973 high court ruling legalizing abortion was settled law, the New York Times reported on Thursday, citing leaked emails. The Times also reported that Kavanaugh wrote in another document that some U.S. Transportation Department affirmative action regulations used “a lot of legalisms and disguises to mask what is a naked racial set-aside,” the Times reported.
“A good judge must be an umpire – a neutral and impartial arbiter who favors no litigant or policy,” Kavanaugh said in written remarks released in advance of the hearing. “I don’t decide cases based on personal or policy preferences.”
“We cannot possibly move forward. We have not had an opportunity to have a meaningful hearing,” Democratic Senator Kamala Harris said, while Democratic Senator Cory Booker appealed to Grassley’s “sense of decency and integrity.”