The Senate confirmed Judge Brett Kavanaugh‘s appointment to the Supreme Court on Saturday, with a 50-48 vote.
The roll call brought down the curtain on the most bitter and divisive Senate confirmation fight in nearly three decades, as protests continued to rage both in and outside the U.S. Capitol. Demonstrators interrupted the Senate vote several times.
Nevertheless, it ratified President Trump’s second Supreme Court pick in as many years, cementing one of his central campaign promises by shifting the court’s balance sharply to the right – and, in the process, handing him a huge political win – one month before November’s critical midterm elections.
The almost entirely party-line vote, in which only one Democrat and one Republican switched sides, was the closest Supreme Court confirmation tally since Justice Clarence Thomas was confirmed in 1991, 52-48.
Despite intense pressure from anti-Kavanaugh protesters, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) joined almost all Senate Republicans to support him, after the FBI reported that it could not corroborate eleventh-hour accusations of sexual misconduct that were leaked to the media two weeks ago.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), the GOP’s only breakaway senator, voted “present” to allow the nomination to squeak through in the absence of Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), a Kavanaugh supporter who instead attended his daughter’s wedding back home
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), facing a tough re-election battle in his deep-red state, was the lone Democrat to break from his party and vote in Kavanaugh’s favor.
Kavanaugh will be the Supreme Court’s 114th justice.