"We'd been trying to figure out how to get the base excited about this election, and nothing unifies Republicans like a court fight", McConnell said in a phone interview just before the Senate confirmed Kavanaugh in a 50-48 vote.
In 2017, Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell went super-nuclear, setting a simple majority threshold for Supreme Court nominees - and getting Trump's first pick Neil Gorsuch onto the bench after blocking Obama's final nominee Merrick Garland, enraging Democrats.
President Trump took to Twitter on Thursday to say the Federal Bureau of Investigation report vindicated his nominee and expressed optimism about Republican chances in the November midterm elections, where control of the House of Representatives and Senate could be at stake. Most were arrested at around 12.:45 p.m., but 14 were arrested in the Senate galleries later in the afternoon, according to a statement from U.S. Capitol Police.
At the same hearing, Kavanaugh vehemently denied Ford's allegation.
Kavanaugh, shown here testifying to the Senate Judiciary Committee, has become the latest US Supreme Court justice.
Even as he was being sworn in inside the Supreme Court, scores of people protested across the street at the Capitol. They chanted, "Vote them out! This is what happens with sexual assault survivors, that they do not come forward".
The Maine Republican, who cast a pivotal vote to confirm Kavanaugh, tells CNN's "State of the Union" that "I do not believe that Brett Kavanaugh was her assailant".
"[Kavanaugh] said 'Mr. President, this is the greatest honor of my life.'".
In North Dakota, Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer has pulled comfortably ahead of Democratic Sen.
Democratic senators, who worked to block Kavanaugh, insisted the caustic battle would motivate their party faithful at the polls next month.
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The accusations against Kavanaugh energized the #MeToo social media movement that emerged after high-profile accusations of sexual assault and harassment by men in politics, the media and the entertainment industry.
Kavanaugh replaces Justice Kennedy, who was nominated to the Court by President Reagan in 1987, but had been the key swing vote on the Court ever since - and conservatives are counting on Kavanaugh tipping the balance of power in a decisive, long-term way, particularly when it comes to signature issues for the American right like the fight against abortion.
Heitkamp said she made a decision to vote against Kavanaugh after his "jaw-dropping" interaction with Democratic senators, including Minnesota's Amy Klobuchar.
Lacy had been working at the White House in support of Kavanaugh's nomination.
As Chief Justice John Roberts swore in Kavanaugh during a private Supreme Court ceremony, protesters demonstrated loudly outside, at one point rushing the steps of the court and banging on its ornate bronze doors while some sat on a Contemplation of Justice statue.
Kennedy, right, administers the Judicial Oath to Judge Brett Kavanaugh in the Justices' Conference Room of the Supreme Court Building.
The embattled Kavanaugh was poised to win Senate confirmation later on Saturday, weathering sexual misconduct accusations and criticism of his character and temperament. Because the White House very much limited the scope of this so-called FBI investigation, which was a sham.
This is the second Supreme Court appointment by President Donald Trump, who said Judge Kavanaugh would be sworn in the same day.
'This is one of the reasons I chose him is because there is no one with a squeaky clean past like Brett Kavanaugh.
"I stand before you today on the heels of a tremendous victory for our nation, our people and our beloved Constitution", he told supporters after signing Kavanaugh's commission aboard Air Force One.