Can Brett Kavanaugh be impeached from the Supreme Court?

08 October, 2018, 05:58 | Author: Sheila Harris
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Senate Republican Susan Collins affirmed in a closely-watched floor speech that she will vote for the conservative jurist nominated by President Donald Trump, and moments later Democrat Joe Manchin broke ranks to announce his own backing.

After a bitter partisan fight that gripped the country, lawmakers backed Kavanaugh by 51 to 49 in a procedural vote that moved the Republican-controlled Senate toward a definitive decision on whether to confirm him.

Many Kavanaugh supporters, like Laura Murphy, pointed to the investigation as reason to proceed with the confirmation.

Kavanaugh, 53, appeared headed toward confirmation by the Senate to the high court until an allegation from Christine Blasey Ford surfaced and she went public with her story in a September 16 account in The Washington Post. "The allegations fail to meet the "more likely than not" standard", she said.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, walks on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018 in Washington, as reporters ask her questions.

"Believe me I struggled with it for a long time", Collins said after her speech. Something happened to Dr. Ford.

The Senate confirmed Neil Gorsuch - Trump's first Supreme Court nominee - in 2017.

Koegler denied any "grand-conspiracy" to conduct a "political hit job" on Kavanaugh, adding that "this was always about one woman struggling with a perverse choice". But Kavanaugh's backers said the Federal Bureau of Investigation did not find evidence to corroborate Ford's accusations. "It will not change the outcome of the vote" Murkowski said on the Senate floor on Friday night. More than 300 were arrested on Thursday.

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Brian Fallon, executive director of Demand Justice, a group that opposes Trump's judicial nominees, said Kavanaugh would join the court "with a cloud over his head".

"Our Supreme Court confirmation process has been in steady decline for more than 30 years", Collins said. He is heading to NY for a congressional fundraiser Friday but planned to be back in Washington for the final vote.

Confirmation would be a crowning achievement for Trump, his conservative base and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

In the case of Kavanaugh, even if the House did proceed to impeach him, it would take the consent of two-thirds of the Senate to remove him. 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.

Trump also said women, far from being outraged at Kavanaugh, "were outraged at what happened to Brett Kavanaugh, outraged". Banks said Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley's statements about the offer during the hearing confused Ford.

In an angry rebuttal later that day, Kavanaugh said the accusations were part of a "political hit" by Democrats.

Their declarations of brought the number of senators publicly supporting the 53-year-old judge - who has faced accusations of sexual assault - to 51 in the 100-member chamber. Trump mocked Ford on Tuesday during a political rally in MS, further angering Democrats and women campaigning for an end to sexual violence.

Speaking to NPR on Friday, a lawyer for Ford said the California professor's goal was never to derail the nomination.



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