Washington, United States
Donald Trump scored a victory Saturday after the Senate confirmed his candidate Brett Kavanaugh to a position in the Supreme Court of Justice, a month after a disputed legislative election.
The senators, in charge of ratifying or rejecting the nominations of the members of the highest court, whose positions have life status, approved by narrow majority (50-48) the appointment of Kavanaugh, after a trial marked by accusations of sexual assault against the judge of 53 years old, dating from his teenage years.
With this vote, several weeks of bitter political struggle were closed, amid the denunciations against the magistrate that divided the American society.
“I applaud and congratulate the Senate for the confirmation of our formidable candidate,” the US president said on Twitter, who firmly defended Kavanaugh throughout the confirmation process.
“Today, later, I will sign his appointment and he will be officially sworn in. Very exciting!” He added.
Kavanaugh will be sworn in a private ceremony by John Roberts, president of the highest-ranking jurisdiction in the United States, which verifies the constitutionality of the laws and arbitrates in the most thorny conflicts in society.
While waiting for the act, on the steps of the Capitol opponents of confirmation expressed their anger.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he was “proud” of his colleagues, while Vice President Mike Pence, who chaired the upper house during the vote, called the day “historic for our country.”
“It’s a sad day, but the answer should come on election day,” Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar told reporters.
Lisa Murkowski, the only Republican senator who opposed Kavanaugh, said it was time for the body and Americans to “heal” after weeks of divisions.
Murkowski acknowledged the anguish of the protesters who repeatedly interrupted the historic Senate vote, and told reporters that “he was closing his eyes and praying, praying for them, praying for us and praying for the country.”
The disembarkation in the Supreme Court of this conservative will place the progressive judges in a minority – four of nine – probably for several decades.
Democrats and civil rights advocates mobilized unsuccessfully since Kavanaugh’s nomination in July to try to avoid confirmation, with campaigns and demonstrations aimed at changing the vote of moderate Republicans.
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The nomination of Kavanaugh gave rise to intense protests in several American cities. On Friday, more than 100 people were arrested in Washington.
This Saturday, some 200 protesters gathered outside the Capitol, waving banners and chanting: “We do not want Kavanaugh” and “November is coming”, referring to the mid-term elections.
The authorities took the unusual step of closing the Capitol to keep protesters away.
According to Trump, women in support of the judge massively occupied the Capitol area.
“It’s a beautiful thing to see – and it’s not about professional demonstrators who are given expensive posters,” the president said on Twitter.
On Friday, Trump said billionaire George Soros, a Democratic Party donor, was behind the demonstrations against Kavanaugh.
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Kavanaugh’s confirmation seemed a fact until in mid-September the testimony of a woman accusing him of sexual abuse sowed doubt about his probity and threatened his candidacy.
Christine Blasey Ford, a 51-year-old university professor, denounced him for a series of attacks in 1982, during teen parties.
Those statements fell like a bucket of ice water in a country already very sensitive to the issues of sexual aggression after the emergence of the #MeToo movement.
During a Senate hearing followed remotely by 20 million Americans, Ford said she was “100% sure” of being assaulted by Kavanaugh when he was 15 and he was 17.
The magistrate responded by assuring his innocence and presented himself as a victim of a campaign orchestrated by the left.
Under pressure from undecided lawmakers, the Senate commissioned an investigation into federal police, the FBI, which on Wednesday night communicated its ruling.