Hollywood reacts to Brett Kavanaugh's U.S. Supreme Court confirmation

Glen Norman
October 7, 2018

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.

By Friday afternoon, the sole remaining undeclared senator was Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat.

Republican Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski was set to vote "no" on Kavanaugh, but as a favor to Montana Senator Steve Daines. she voted "present" to offset his "yes" vote so he could attend his daughter's wedding.

President Donald Trump touted "a historic night" during a rally in Kansas Saturday that came hours after the Senate confirmed Trump's second Supreme Court appointment, Brett Kavanaugh.

The vote was not a quiet affair.

After the vote on Saturday, she voiced hope that Kavanaugh would work "to restore or build that public confidence".

"This is our court, these are our steps, these are our institutions!" proclaimed Jessica Campbell-Swanson, 35, to AFP just after raising a defiant fist and then coming down from the lap of the large marble Contemplation of Justice statue in front of the Supreme Court.

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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. "All the sympathy I'm seeing right now for Brett Kavanuagh, while she's being mocked, while she's being demeaned", he said.

Senators had backed Kavanaugh, a federal appeals court judge, in a procedural vote earlier on Friday that moved the Republican-controlled Senate towards a definitive decision.

Republican Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona and Susan Collins of ME cast their votes in favour of Kavanaugh.

It was the closest roll call to confirm a justice since 1881, when Stanley Matthews was approved by 24-23, according to Senate records.

Kavanaugh's confirmation seemed all but sure on Friday when key Republicans and one Democrats, who had been undecided on the nomination, said they would support the judge.

Mr Trump also said he was "100% certain" that the woman who had accused Mr Kavanaugh of sexual assault, Christine Blasey Ford, had named the wrong person.

The nomination process has ripped open the scabs on the never-healed wounds of polarisation on the USA body politic exactly a month before the mid-term elections to Congress that can determine the future of Trump's presidency.

In the end, Republicans were able to use their monopoly on political power on Capitol Hill and the White House to muscle through the confirmation, which was almost derailed by Christine Blasey Ford's allegations that the judge assaulted her when they were teenagers in the 1980s.

Trump also called Kavanaugh, as well as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan, en route to Kansas, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said.

Republican and Democratic strategists expect Kavanaugh's nomination to galvanize their voters ahead of the midterm elections.

Democrats said Kavanaugh would push the court too far, including possible sympathetic rulings for Trump should the president encounter legal problems from the special counsel's investigations into Russian connections with his 2016 presidential campaign.

But the turmoil wrought by the process, and the impact it has on Kavanaugh's reputation on the court, could endure.

Her vote is disappointing enough, but her speech was a giant middle finger to all survivors of sexual assault.

Kavanaugh, 53, will solidify the nine-member Supreme Court's conservative majority.

Asked by reporters aboard Air Force One what message he had for women across the country who feel the nomination sends a message that their allegations of sexual assault aren't believed, Trump disagreed with the premise, saying women "were outraged at what happened to Brett Kavanaugh" and "were in many ways stronger than the men in his favour".

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