US Se­nate to vote on em­bat­tled court nom­i­nee af­ter fraught hear­ing

Global Times - Weekend - - WORLD -

Brett Ka­vanaugh’s con­tentious Supreme Court nom­i­na­tion was set to be put to an ini­tial vote Fri­day, the day af­ter a dra­matic Se­nate hear­ing saw the judge fu­ri­ously fight back against sex­ual as­sault al­le­ga­tions re­counted in har­row­ing de­tail by his ac­cuser.

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump backed his pick for the na­tion’s top bench af­ter the grip­ping day-long hear­ing opened with Chris­tine Blasey Ford, 51, who de­liv­ered to a packed room her stark ac­count of what she said was an at­tempted rape by Ka­vanaugh 36 years ago.

In a fiery de­fense, the 53-year-old judge in­sisted be­fore the Se­nate Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee that it never hap­pened, ac­cus­ing Democrats of de­stroy­ing his rep­u­ta­tion and con­demn­ing his con­fir­ma­tion bat­tle as a “na­tional dis­grace.”

“Judge Ka­vanaugh showed Amer­ica ex­actly why I nom­i­nated him,” the pres­i­dent tweeted just min­utes af­ter the close of the hear­ing.

“His tes­ti­mony was pow­er­ful, hon­est and riv­et­ing,” Trump said. “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!”

Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Mitch McCon­nell said Trump would get his wish, with the Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee – which has 11 Repub­li­cans and 10 Democrats – set to vote on its recommendation Fri­day be­fore the nom­i­na­tion goes to the full Se­nate, where Repub­li­cans hold a slim 51-49 edge.

“We’re go­ing to vote in the morn­ing and we’re go­ing to move for­ward,” McCon­nell told jour­nal­ists, adding in a later state­ment that the full Se­nate would vote “in the com­ing days.”

But the Amer­i­can Bar As­so­ci­a­tion – the le­gal pro­fes­sion’s largest or­ga­ni­za­tion – urged the com­mit­tee to post­pone Fri­day’s vote un­til an FBI in­ves­ti­ga­tion could be car­ried out, say­ing a Supreme Court ap­point­ment “is sim­ply too im­por­tant to rush to a vote.”

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