Se­nate votes for Trump’s nom­i­nee by 50-48 mar­gin

USA TODAY Weekend Extra - - FRONT PAGE - Deb­o­rah Barfield Berry, Herb Jack­son and Christal Hayes

WASH­ING­TON – The Se­nate voted Satur­day to con­firm Judge Brett Ka­vanaugh as a Supreme Court jus­tice, so­lid­i­fy­ing con­ser­va­tive con­trol of the high­est court in the land for years to come and end­ing a bit­ter bat­tle over his nom­i­na­tion.

Ka­vanaugh’s con­fir­ma­tion was not just a chance for Repub­li­cans to shift the court to the right for what could be decades but also a test of how pub­lic of­fi­cials re­sponded to the raw emo­tions un­leashed by the al­le­ga­tions of

sex­ual as­sault against Ka­vanaugh.

That re­sponse will likely be scru­ti­nized even fur­ther with the Nov. 6 midterm elec­tions a month away, giv­ing Democrats a chance to take con­trol of one or more cham­bers of Congress.

Ka­vanaugh was sworn in later Satur­day, with Chief Jus­tice John Roberts ad­min­is­ter­ing the con­sti­tu­tional oath and re­tired Jus­tice An­thony Kennedy, whom Ka­vanaugh was re­plac­ing, ad­min­is­ter­ing the ju­di­cial oath.

The con­fir­ma­tion was also a vic­tory for Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, who nom­i­nated Ka­vanaugh. He told re­porters be­fore the Se­nate vote that Ka­vanaugh would be a “great jus­tice of the Supreme Court.”

The fi­nal vote was 50-48. Sen. Joe Manchin was the only Demo­crat to break ranks and vote in fa­vor of Ka­vanaugh. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., was at his daugh­ter’s wed­ding Satur­day, and fel­low Repub­li­can Sen. Lisa Murkowski, of Alaska, who’d sig­naled a “no” vote, in­stead voted “present” as a col­le­gial ges­ture.

For weeks, Ka­vanaugh’s fu­ture had hung in the bal­ance dur­ing hear­ings, FBI in­ves­ti­ga­tions and sex­ual as­sault al­le­ga­tions, which he has de­nied.

Ka­vanaugh’s path to con­fir­ma­tion be­came clear Fri­day af­ter­noon when Sen. Su­san Collins, R-Maine, who had been on the fence for months, an­nounced her sup­port for the judge in a 45-minute speech on the Se­nate floor.

“It is when pas­sions are most in­flamed that fair­ness is most in jeop­ardy,” she said.

The anger among Ka­vanaugh’s crit­ics was ev­i­dent on the steps of the Capi­tol, where hun­dreds of pro­test­ers had gath­ered. Many sat down un­til po­lice be­gan mak­ing wide­spread ar­rests.

They held signs read­ing “Kava Nope” and “Shame, Collins.” Many of the pro­test­ers said they felt pow­er­less but vowed that next month’s midterms would change that.

Be­fore Vice Pres­i­dent Mike Pence called for the first vote, pro­test­ers in the Se­nate an­grily be­gan yelling and were dragged out by po­lice.

“I do not con­sent,” a woman could be heard scream­ing af­ter she was taken away.

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