Judge Brett Kavanaugh Confirmed by US Senate as Supreme Court Justice

Watch live: Final Senate vote on Kavanaugh nomination

Holder - who served as the nation's top lawyer under former President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2015 - said the treatment of former Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland by Senate Republicans, as well as Kavanaugh's confirmation, meant the legitimacy of the court was in question. Vice President Mike Pence presided, his potential tie-breaking vote unnecessary. On Saturday approximately 1,000 protesters marched to the Capitol steps, chanting "November is coming".

Just hours earlier, with Kavanaugh's fate still uncertain, the full Senate had voted 51-49 to end debate and advance the nomination, after an additional FBI investigation seemed to turn up nothing to corroborate the allegations.

The fight to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court is over. Protesters were also heard shouting from the Senate gallery during the roll call.

"We were in the fight to the finish", Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told The Washington Post on Saturday.

They were expected to appoint the conservative judge to the court after a nomination process which bared partisan divisions ahead of U.S. midterm elections next month.

Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of NY looked ahead to November, appealing to voters beyond the Senate chamber: "Change must come from where change in America always begins: the ballot box".

Kavanaugh's confirmation felt almost inevitable by Friday afternoon, when two previously undecided senators, Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., announced they would support him.

Kavanaugh defended his actions, citing his previous 12 years as a District Court Judge in an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal Friday. That balanced out the absence without affecting the outcome, and gave Kavanaugh the same two-vote margin he'd have received had both lawmakers voted.

Within minutes, dozens of political and advocacy groups blasted out emailed reactions.

The Senate is expected to confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court on Saturday afternoon. "But we try to avoid controversy, so we're very guarded about raising topics that we think might create hostility in the room", she said. "Women will not forget this".

His testimony came after that of Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of drunkenly groping her in the 1980s at a high school party.

Protesters and activists had been a ubiquitous presence on Capitol Hill in recent days.

Inside the Senate, resentments fanned by the battle showed no signs of receding.

The Supreme Court's office of public information said Kavanaugh will be sworn in Saturday "so that he can begin to participate in the work of the Court immediately".

Democrats said the claims were credible and called for further investigation into the claims, or even for Kavanaugh to withdraw.

Without weighing in on the sexual assault allegations that Ford leveled against Kavanaugh, Mrs. Trump says victims of "any kind of abuse or violence" must be helped.

Some 164 people were arrested, most for demonstrating on the Capitol steps, 14 for disrupting the Senate's roll call vote. Hundreds of other demonstrators watched from behind barricades. Each put out their parties' positions on Kavanaugh becoming an Associate Justice in impassioned speeches that will doubtless be plastered across the front pages of the nation's newspapers come tomorrow morning. "And I know it for a fact because I spoke with her, she didn't stop". The decision to elevate Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump's second confirmed justice at this point in his presidency, was the narrowest since President James Garfield's pick Stanley Matthews was confirmed 24-23 in 1881.

When Mr Trump nominated Mr Kavanaugh in July, Democrats leapt to oppose him, saying that past statements and opinions show he could be a threat to court cases on the right to abortion.

They also fear he will argue that a sitting president can not be indicted if prosecutors investigating Mr Trump's campaign ties to Russian Federation attempt to pursue him in court.

Kavanaugh's confirmation as a replacement for retiring justice Anthony Kennedy was controversial from the start - but the initial focus was exclusively on the conservative views held by the married father of two.

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