Brett Kavanaugh has been confirmed as the new Supreme Court Justice in a deeply divided Senate vote (50 against 48). The appointment of Kavanaugh—who has multiple credible allegations of sexual assault against him, one of which was scrutinized in a very public hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee—concludes his turbulent rise to becoming the newest antagonist in the Trump administration, and follows the weeks-long protests from women, sexual abuse survivors, and supporters of the MeToo movement, who feel overlooked, misrepresented, and now endangered by the people currently in power in the United States government.
Today’s vote occurred as hundreds of protestors massed outside the Supreme Court and the Capitol in Washington, D.C. The vote itself was interrupted several times by protesters. The displays of opposition continued right down to the wire, with some women having to be dragged from the courtroom screaming.
Democrats spoke out against the nomination of Kavanaugh prior to the final vote, delivering impassioned speeches on the Senate floor—but ultimately, the GOP had enough votes to successfully confirm him without reaching across the aisle. All the Republicans voted “yes” except for Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who would have voted “no,” but voted “present” to accommodate a colleague who would have been a “yes,” but could not attend. Senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia was the only Democrat to vote in favor of Kavanaugh.
President Donald Trump tweeted his support for Kavanaugh, writing, “I applaud and congratulate the U.S. Senate for confirming our GREAT NOMINEE, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, to the United States Supreme Court. Later today, I will sign his Commission of Appointment, and he will be officially sworn in. Very exciting!” Kavanaugh’s confirmation is indeed a victory for Trump and the Republican party, who, as reported by The New York Times, have been pushing a decades-long campaign to remake the Supreme Court in their image. (Trump has now appointed two conservative justices to the Supreme Court since entering office, tipping the ideological balance of the court far to the right.) In Egypt for her first solo trip abroad, First Lady Melania Trump also commented on Kavanaugh, telling reporters, “I think he’s highly qualified for the Supreme Court. I’m glad that Dr. Ford was heard, I’m glad that Judge Kavanaugh was heard. FBI investigation was done, is completed and Senate voted.”
The response to the news rang out harshly across social media. See some of the reactions, below: