After weeks of debate within the Senate as well as widespread protests outside of it, Judge Brett Kavanaugh has been confirmed to the Supreme Court of the United States. This marks the second time President Trump has placed a conservative justice on the court, after Neil Gorsuch in 2017; it likely means a conservative majority for the court.
The Senate’s vote on Saturday (October 6) was 50 to 48 — the narrowest margin since 1881, the Washington Post points out — and came in nearly precisely down party lines. The vote was apparently interrupted repeatedly, the New York Times reports, including by one woman who yelled, “This is a stain on American history!”
The animosity toward Kavanaugh was felt throughout his confirmation hearings in late September, when Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testified that he had sexually assaulted her when the two were in high school. Ford’s supporters included Lili Reinhart, Mandy Moore, Chris Evans, and protesters who flooded Washington, D.C. to hound Kavanaugh’s backers in the Senate. Prominent protesters, including Amy Schumer and Emily Ratajkowski, were arrested with nearly 300 others last week on Capitol Hill.
Hundreds of Kavanaugh opponents also reportedly gathered on the steps of the Supreme Court on Saturday to chant “No means no!” Meanwhile, Trump — himself no stranger to sexual misconduct allegations — praised the Senate for confirming his “GREAT NOMINEE” via Twitter.
Kavanaugh’s currently 53 years old, which means he likely has decades as a justice ahead of him. As a replacement for Anthony Kennedy, a frequent swing vote on cases dealing with LGBTQ rights, abortion, and affirmative action, Kavanaugh could cause the court to lean more conservative on these issues.
Kavanaugh will be sworn in on Saturday “so that he can begin to participate in the work of the Court immediately,” according to a statement on the Supreme Court’s website.