A deeply divided U.S. Senate confirmed Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court on Saturday, as Republicans dismissed the sexual misconduct accusations and delivered a major victory to Trump. The two-vote margin is one of the narrowest ever for a Supreme Court nominee.
The accusations against Kavanaugh energized the #MeToo social media movement that emerged after high-profile accusations of sexual assault and harassment by men in politics, the media and the entertainment industry.
Image: Judge Kavanaugh being sworn in. The inclusion of the question, which critics state is created to reduce participation by immigrants, could lead to an undercount of the US population in certain regions and thus the malapportionment of electoral votes and congressional seats in a manner that could hurt the Democratic Party.
After Ford's allegations, Democrats and their allies became engaged as seldom before, though there were obvious echoes of Thomas' combative confirmation over the sexual harassment accusations of Anita Hill, who worked for him at two federal agencies. Both he and Collins attempted to express a belief that Dr. Blasey Ford was assaulted, but not by Kavanaugh.
She and the other lawyers on the team have complained about the Senate's handling of her allegation, and about the FBI's quick investigation into it. Agents did not find any corroboration, though Ms. Blasey Ford's team says they didn't talk to enough people. "We need more Republicans".
Those passions were on full display this week in a fight that could energize both parties' voters in elections for control of Congress just five weeks away.
Hours before the vote, scores of protesters broke through barricades and staged a raucous sit-in protest on the US Capitol steps.
One U.S. president spoke with Sen.
Republicans "conducted one of the least transparent, least fair, most biased processes in Senate history, slanting the table from the very beginning to produce their desired result", he added.
Trump, flying to Kansas for a political rally, flashed a thumbs-up gesture when the tally was announced and praised Kavanaugh for being "able to withstand this disgusting, awful attack by the Democrats".
Manchin is in a tight race for re-election in his home state, where President Donald Trump beat Democrat Hillary Clinton by 42 percentage points in 2016.
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"He spent 10 years in sullen silence over the experience that he went through", Durbin said.
At a rally in Topeka, Kansas, moments after Judge Kavanaugh took up his new role, President Trump praised him as a "loving husband, devoted father, and faithful public servant", thanking Republicans for not backing down to the "radical Democrats".
Manchin announced he would follow Collins as she concluded her floor speech, all but assuring the judge's confirmation.
Joe Manchin is facing a hard re-election campaign in West Virginia, a traditionally Republican state that Mr Trump won by a landslide.
Majority Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Mr Kavanaugh was a "serious scholar, a brilliant student of the law and a meticulous and dedicated public servant". She voted "present", balancing out Daines' absence.
Trump, who called Kavanaugh to congratulate him on Saturday, said he was "100 percent" certain that Ford named the wrong person in accusing the judge. That previous vote was to limit debate, meaning Kavanaugh's nomination will get a vote probably Saturday.
So far, no serious contender has stepped forward to challenge the only Republican senator from New England, who has found herself among a dwindling number of GOP centrists. He accused Democrats of emboldening protesters: "They have encouraged mob rule".
"Change must come from where change in America always begins: the ballot box", he said.
But he scoffed at the idea that Kavanaugh's nomination, and the tumult it has unleashed, will help Democrats in November's midterm elections.
Democrats have also accused the nominee of lying under oath, pointing to instances in which the judge appeared to either mislead or make false statements to the Judiciary Committee about a range of issues, including his drinking habits and social life in high school and college and his work in the Bush White House.