Brett Kavanaugh Confirmed to Supreme CourtPosted on: October 7, 2018, by : Jeff Turner
By Jeff Turner
Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed today to the Supreme Court, replacing retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. Kennedy was considered the court’s swing vote, and as a result Democrats and those on the left were vehemently opposed to the nomination. The vote went largely along party lines, 50-48. Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska was the lone Republican to not cast a vote for Kavanaugh (she voted “present” out of respect for Montana GOP Senator Steve Daines, who could not be present for the final vote) and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who is up for reelection in November was the sole Democrat to vote “yes.”
Indiana’s Joe Donnelly faced a great deal of pressure to vote to confirm Kavanaugh, as did many other red state Democrats, but ultimately voted “no.” Donnelly is considered one of the most vulnerable Democratic Senators in the country of those running for reelection in the upcoming midterms. His “no” vote infuriated many Republicans in the state, but galvanized many Democrats who were leery of his more moderate voting record.
The FBI report into the sexual assault allegations did not sway Donnelly into changing his vote. It did, however, sway Susan Collins (R-ME), Manchin, and Jeff Flake (R-AZ), who, along with Murkowski were considered the “swing votes” in regards to the nomination. Flake was even the one who called for the FBI investigation after the particularly virulent Senate Judiciary Hearings regarding the sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh. The report left Democrats unsatisfied, feeling it wasn’t thorough enough. Though many held out hope that it would sway Flake to be a “no” vote.
Kavanaugh’s confirmation was assured Friday afternoon, when Senator Susan Collins announced she would vote to confirm Kavanaugh. The speech infuriated Democrats to the extent that, according to multiple sources, $3 million has been raised for Collins’ Democratic opponent (as of now unknown) in 2020, when she is up for re-election.
The Kavanaugh confirmation hearings have been quite possibly the nastiest and most controversial for a Supreme Court nominee in recent history. Some would possibly argue ever. It has been reported that former President George W. Bush called Collins multiple times and spoke to her at great length in order to secure a “yes” vote.
Nonetheless, Kavanaugh comes out of the confirmation process irrevocably scarred and deeply unpopular. His confirmation has now given conservatives a majority on the Supreme Court, one that may well last over a generation. Many on the left fear that Roe v. Wade, the SCOTUS case that legalized abortion nationwide could be overturned. There is also concern that Kavanaugh will be a partisan rather than an impartial SCOTUS Justice.
Despite writing an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal where he walked back some of his more controversial claims during the hearings and lack of restraint, many Democrats still have an unfavorable view of the SCOTUS Justice. House Democrats have announced that they will hold further investigations into Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual assault allegations leveled against Kavanaugh should they retake the House in the November midterms.
Kavanaugh’s confirmation has without a doubt further polarized an already deeply divided electorate and the scars will likely linger for quite some time. Kavanaugh is expected to be seated on the Court in time for its upcoming fall session.