Despite sexual assault allegations, Kavanaugh gets backing for SC seatLast updated on Oct 06, 2018, 11:51 am
Despite sexual assault allegations, Judge Brett Kavanaugh's appointment to the US Supreme Court is all but certain, with key senators having backed the embattled judge's nomination.
On Friday, Kavanaugh's nomination was pushed through for final voting in a "cloture" vote that saw a 51-49 majority in Kavanaugh's favour.
Meanwhile, the final vote on Kavanaugh's appointment is scheduled for Saturday.
Here are the details.
Backstory: When Christine Blasey Ford broke her silence
A couple of weeks back, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a professor of clinical psychology at the Palo Alto University in California, came forward with allegations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh, Trump's Supreme Court nominee.
She alleged that an inebriated Kavanaugh had pinned her to a bed and had tried undressing her when they were both teenagers.
Kavanaugh, however, denied the allegations flatly.
Do you know?
Ford isn't the only one accusing Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct
Since Dr. Ford broke her silence, Kavanaugh's Yale classmate, Deborah Ramirez, alleged that a drunk Kavanaugh had exposed himself to her. Another woman, Julie Swetnick, alleged that Kavanaugh was involved in the drugging and sexual assault of women at house parties in the 1980s.
What went down since the women came forward
Since then, a lot has happened.
Last week, Dr. Ford and Kavanaugh both gave impassioned public testimonies explaining their sides of the story.
Subsequently, President Donald Trump, in a juvenile move, impersonated Dr. Ford and publicly mocked her testimony.
Meanwhile, the FBI conducted an investigation into allegations against Kavanaugh. Republicans claim the new FBI report clears Kavanaugh; Democrats claim the investigation was incomplete.
Two defectors could have derailed Kavanaugh's nomination
Consequently, a doubt had been cast over Kavanaugh's nomination with Republican senators Jeff Flake, Bob Corker, Susan Collins, and Lisa Murkowski having expressed their doubts about approving it.
With the Republicans holding a 51-49 majority in the Senate, two defectors could have derailed Trump's nominee.
However, on Friday, after the Senate Judiciary Committee approved Kavanaugh's nomination, Democrats were left dismayed in the cloture vote.
Friday's cloture vote left the Democrats dismayed
Friday's "cloture" vote, which was a test of support for the embattled judge, saw Kavanaugh's nomination supported by a 51-49 majority.
Although Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski voted against Kavanaugh's nomination, Democrat Senator Joe Manchin, along with fence-sitter Susan Collins voted for Kavanaugh's approval.
Moreover, Collins and Manchin have both confirmed that Kavanaugh has their support for Saturday's final vote.
Murkowski's intentions are unknown.
Republicans praise Collins, Manchin slammed by liberal groups
Subsequently, all sorts of reactions poured in.
Former president and Republican, George HW Bush, and White House press secretary Sarah Sanders took to Twitter to praise Senator Susan Collins for her decision to support Kavanaugh.
Manchin, however, came under fire for betraying the Democrats - liberal groups withdrew support for funding Manchin's re-election campaign, while protesters shouted "shame on you".
Former president George HW Bush applauds Collins' "political courage"
.@SenatorCollins — political courage and class. I salute my wonderful friend and her principled leadership.— George Bush (@GeorgeHWBush) October 5, 2018
Why Kavanaugh's nomination is crucial to the Supreme Court's fate
Regardless, with Kavanaugh almost set to seal his lifelong seat at the nine-member US Supreme Court panel, the US' apex court is all set to be titled towards the conservatives.
Why does it matter? The US Supreme Court has the final say on issues such as gun control and abortion, and a right-leaning Supreme Court could have a significant impact on an entire generation.
Murmurs indicate Democrats might try to impeach Kavanaugh
Yet, while the battle for Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination seems to be over, the political war between Republicans and Democrats is just beginning.
With the US mid-term elections coming up in November, there have been murmurs among Democrats that they might seek to impeach Kavanaugh should they reclaim a majority in the House of Representatives.
What fate awaits Kavanaugh now remains to be seen.