Kavanaugh fight sharpens the stakes for midterms

Protesters occupy the Hart Senate Office Building during a rally against Kavanaugh in Washington

Vox: "Susan Collins says she doesn't think Kavanaugh was Ford's assailant" - "Now that Brett Kavanaugh has been confirmed to the Supreme Court, some Republicans seem to feel freer saying what they really think about the sexual assault allegations against him brought by Palo Alto University professor Christine Blasey Ford: They don't believe them".

Mr Trump said Mr Kavanaugh was "caught up in a hoax that was set up by the Democrats", as he left for a trip to Florida.

The President had at one point previously been conciliatory toward Christine Blasey Ford, who testified before Congress alleging that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her. Trump, at the time of the testimony, called Ford a "good witness" and said he respected her position very much. Kavanaugh's new benchmates will include Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who's praised the "Me Too" movement of women coming forward to say they were the subjects of sexual misconduct, as well as Justice Clarence Thomas, whose 1991 nomination nearly failed in the face of sexual harassment allegations.

Ahead of the U.S. mid-term elections, Mr Trump added: "I think you're going to see a lot of things happen on 6 November that would not have happened before".

Heading into pivotal midterm elections, McConnell tried to distinguish between President Donald Trump's nomination of Kavanaugh this year and his own decision not to have the Republican-run Senate consider then President Barack Obama's high court nominee, Merrick Garland, in 2016. "So, I think even before you start focusing on questions about his truthfulness before a Senate committee, you've got to focus on the urgency of the work over the next 30 days, and that's where my focus is".

The ceremonial follow-up event is fairly unusual for new justices.

Democrats fought tooth and nail to stop Kavanaugh's candidacy, claiming that the accomplished, conservative-minded judge was not suited to the Supreme Court, which will now tilt decisively to a more Republican-friendly panel.

Kavanaugh said he already has hired his first four law clerks, noting that he is the first justice to employ a team entirely made up of women.

Trump swore in Kavanaugh Saturday as the nation's 114th member of the Supreme Court after a savage battle that splintered the Senate and riveted the country.

Kavanaugh said of his SCOTUS colleagues that he knew each of them, "each of whom I greatly admire and respect".

Later, in Orlando, he called Kavanaugh "a flawless person". "I think, frankly, we are just less than a month away from an election". The best student, the best scholar, the great intellect, incredible record over many years, and yet he's a young man.

Kavanaugh officially took the oath in a more hurried, private procedure Saturday, but the White House version late Monday was a chance for the Trump administration to perform the equivalent of a victory lap.

Ultimately, every Democrat voted against Mr Kavanaugh except for Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

"The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice", McConnell said after Garland's nomination.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell addresses a news conference after the Senate voted to confirm the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Oct. 6, 2018.



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