Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in to USA supreme court

US Senate plans procedural vote on Kavanaugh in bitter confirmation fight

But when asked on "Fox News Sunday" if that would apply in 2020, McConnell said: "We'll see if there is a vacancy". The Senate voted 50 to 48, mostly along party lines.

With tensions simmering, Pence got an earful from activists who booed and chanted "Vote them out!" as he walked to his motorcade. But I say to you my fellow Americans: "There is one answer: "Vote". Democrats hope that the roll call, exactly a month from elections in which House and Senate control are in play, will prompt infuriated women and liberals to stream to the polls to oust Republicans.

McConnell also said Saturday's confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court is his proudest moment as a senator.

He says in 1880 a vacancy was not filled when the Senate was controlled by the party opposing the president. Every voting Republican backed the 53-year-old conservative judge.

"Today the United States Supreme Court has gained an exceptional Justice in Brett Kavanaugh", Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life, which opposes abortion, said in a statement. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), all voted to confirm Kavanaugh.

That appears to indicate the Garland rationale wouldn't apply if a Republican president has a Republican Senate majority.

Within minutes, dozens of political and advocacy groups blasted out emailed reactions. "Women will not forget this". "Unfortunately, nothing in Judge Kavanaugh's record or past have shown he will be such a justice". "Big day for America!" he tweeted.

Collins also said she would never have voted for someone who had committed such an act, or someone who had lied about it.

But the fight was defined by the sexual assault accusations. "The Kavanaugh issue has nearly acted as a centrifuge to separate red and blue elements of the electorate even more".

About 100 anti-Kavanaugh protesters climbed the Capitol's East Steps as the vote approached, pumping fists and waving signs.

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Kavanaugh sworn in as new Supreme Justice after somber Senate vote
In the short term he will provide the decisive fifth vote for a conservative majority on the nine-member court. Fifty senators voted in favour, with 48 against, to appoint 53-year-old Mr Kavanaugh to the court for life.

President Donald Trump applauds as he take the stage to speak at a campaign rally at Kansas Expocentre, Oct. 6, 2018 in Topeka, Kan. Hundreds of other demonstrators watched from behind barricades.

Inside the Senate chambers Saturday, protesters interrupted the final vote numerous times.

Protests began in earnest when Dr Christine Blasey Ford came forward, alleging he had assaulted her at a party in the 1980s.

"An FBI investigation that did not include interviews of Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh is not a meaningful investigation in any sense of the word", they said in a statement quoted in USA media.

The final vote by the entire Senate was further delayed by Republican Senator Floyd Flake, a critic of Trump, demanding an investigation of Ford's allegations by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

A townhouse near the Washington residence of Republican Senator Susan Collins, whose backing for Kavanaugh helped get him over the line on Saturday, flew the flag of her home state ME upside down in protest.

But McConnell told CBS's "Face the Nation" that Murkowski, who isn't up for re-election until 2022, remained "a Republican member of our conference in good standing".

Manchin expressed empathy for sexual assault victims. "I guess he is now the new center, which is rather frightening considering how conservative he is", she said.

In recent days, Trump has fiercely defended Kavanaugh and mocked his accusers, candidates have aired new ads on their positions, debates have pivoted on the nomination, and both parties have sensed political advantage in what already had stacked up as an election dependent on each side motivating its base. Trump and other Republicans said their base is more motivated than it was earlier in the year, and that will help them keep the House and Senate.

In a much anticipated speech on the Senate floor Friday afternoon, Collins said that she believed that Ford was a survivor of sexual assault.

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