Reporting by Grace Segers, Kathryn Watson, John Nolen and Bo Erickson
Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s second nominee to the Supreme Court, was confirmed to the court on Saturday with a Senate vote largely divided along party lines. The vote occurred shortly before 4 p.m.
The confirmation process has been bitterly partisan, and disputes were exacerbated by allegations of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh that began surfacing in September. In response to the allegations, the Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony from Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, who alleges Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were in high school. Kavanaugh denies the allegation, while she has stood by her testimony.
The committee paused the nomination process for a week so the FBI could investigate. Afterwards, Republicans declared that the FBI had not found any corroborating witnesses, while Democrats complained the FBI didn’t look hard or long enough.
Senators voted to advance Kavanaugh’s confirmation Friday morning by a 51-49 margin.
The final Senate vote was 50-48 margin in favor of confirming Kavanaugh to the highest court. Republican Sen. Steve Daines of Montana was not present at the vote because he was attending his daughter’s wedding. Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who broke with her party on Friday and voted against advancing Kavanaugh’s nomination, voted “present.”