Judge Brett Kavanaugh will soon be Justice Brett Kavanaugh. But the consequences of his confirmation Saturday will inevitably be analyzed for years to come ndash not only on the Supreme Court and the Senate, but across the country.
The Senate voted 50-48 to confirm Kavanaugh to the highest court in the land, a relatively anticlimactic finale to one of the most contentious Supreme Court confirmation fights in recent history. The vote was consistently interrupted by protesters shouting from the gallery, causing Vice President Mike Pence, who was presiding, to call for order. Protesters also descended on the Capitol to express their dissatisfaction with the confirmation.
The confirmation not only exposed the raw emotions of sexual misconduct allegations, but sparked intense national conversations on class, privilege and gender.
Chief Justice John Roberts and retired Justice Anthony Kennedy ndash whose seat Kavanaugh is taking ndash will swear him in as a justice later Saturday, #8220so he can begin to participate in the work of the Court immediately.#8221
Kavanaugh#8217s path the the Supreme Court seemed all but assured before allegations surfaced from Christine Blasey Ford that he had tried to rape her at a house party in 1982 when they were both in high school. Two other accusations followed ndash all of them decades old. Deborah Ramirez alleged that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her when they were in college, and Julie Swetnick alleged she was gang raped at a party Kavanaugh attended.
Ford, a California psychology researcher, was called before the Senate and her testimony Sept. 27 riveted the country, sparking numerous women, including high profile figures like Connie Chung, come forward with their own stories of sexual assault. Kavanaugh#8217s testimony in response, later that same day, was a boisterous, emphatic denial of any of all claims of impropriety.Christine Blasey Ford says Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in high school Erin Schaff—The New York Times/Pool/Getty Images
In the end, Ford#8217s testimony before the committee wasn#8217t enough to persuade a significant number of Senators to break with the Republican Party and vote against Kavanaugh. An FBI investigation was unable to corroborate her allegations, although Democrats decried that process itself was a sham and purposely manipulated by the White House to reach that conclusion. Neither Ford nor Kavanaugh was interviewed for the FBI report, and Swetnickrsquos claims werenrsquot investigated. Ramirez was interviewed but her attorneys said investigators never spoke the witnesses she said could corroborate her claim.