Sunday, 21 October, 2018

Melania Trump gives thumbs-up to Kavanaugh

Democratic senator suggests FBI uncovered evidence Brett Kavanaugh lied under oath as final vote looms Sen. Elizabeth Warren suggested late Thursday that the FBI may have obtained evidence Brett Kavanaugh lied under oath
Gerardo Duncan | 08 October, 2018, 08:03

Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski said she didn't decide to vote against advancing Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination until she reached the Senate chambers on Friday.

The showdown drew raucous demonstrators - largely anti-Kavanaugh - to the Capitol, where they raised tensions by repeatedly confronting lawmakers despite an intensified police presence.

The reaction has been swift, with former President George Bush and White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders both tweeting their support for Collins. It would be the closest roll call to confirm a justice since 1881, when Stanley Matthews was approved by 24-23, according to Senate records. Roberts administered the constitutional oath and Kennedy the judicial oath. Both oaths will be administered so Kavanaugh can participate in the work of the court immediately. A formal investiture ceremony will take place at a later date, the Supreme Court also said.

Hours later, Kavanaugh was sworn in at a private ceremony.

A final vote on whether Judge Kavanaugh will join the nine-member panel is scheduled for Saturday. The session was presided over by Pence.

She told fellow senators that Christine Blasey Ford's dramatic testimony last week describing Mr Kavanaugh's alleged 1982 assault was "sincere, painful and compelling".

The climactic 50-48 roll call capped a fight that seized the national conversation after claims emerged that he had sexually assaulted women three decades ago - allegations he emphatically denied.

Judge Kavanaugh's confirmation would tilt America's highest court in favour of conservatives. "I think it was a very important thing". Steyer, a major Democratic donor, has invested more than $210,000 on ads denouncing Kavanaugh.

As exhausted senators prepared for Saturday's vote, some were flanked by security guards.

"I would say if we're talking about the Supreme Court and Judge Kavanaugh, I think he's highly qualified for the Supreme Court", Mrs. Trump said while speaking to reporters in Egypt during a solo worldwide trip to Africa.

The senate voted 51 to 49 to move forward with the confirmation process.

But when asked whether she believed Ford, the first lady would not answer directly.

"This hasn't been fair to the judge, but I also recognize that we need to have institutions that are viewed as fair", she said.

Pumping their fists and carrying signs, a few hundred people climbed the east steps of the Capitol for the demonstration.

Collins' speech was immediately interrupted by protesters in the Senate gallery, who chanted "vote no", indicative of the vast pressure she faced to oppose Kavanaugh's nomination. Daines worked as an executive in Gianforte's software company, RightNow Technologies, until 2012, when he won the U.S. House seat that Gianforte now occupies.

Speaking after the vote, McConnell said the protests against Kavanaugh over the past several weeks have "turned our base on fire". "We've heard those voices and I hope we have all learned something, that we owe it to the victims of sexual assault to do more and to do better and to do it now with them". A few Democrats sat stone-faced nearby. "He's a good man", she said.

"I wish people would focus on what I do, not what I wear", she said, before posing for pictures in front of some of Egypt's greatest landmarks.

Murkowski lost a primary battle in 2010 but was re-elected as a write-in candidate.

Amid strong indications that Murkowski would again vote "no", that meant Kavanaugh would win final approval unless both Manchin and Republican Susan Collins of ME switched from backing Friday's procedural vote to opposing confirmation.

It would be a cruel irony if Manchin voted for Kavanaugh and helped save his nomination while a Republican, Murkowski, voted against him, but given that he is up for reelection in a state where Trump remains popular, it is a distinct possibility.

At the rally, survivors of sexual assault shared their stories and said even though Gardner had pledged to support Kavanaugh, that wouldn't stop their rally for change.

As the tally neared an end, she spoke with Ms Collins.

With Murkowski now presumably a "no" vote, Flake's "yes" is likely a prerequisite for Kavanaugh's confirmation.

Gillibrand says women who've experienced sexual trauma are "tired of the same old scenario where the men are believed and the women are not".

Manchin called Kavanaugh a 'qualified jurist'.

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