Kavanaugh Confirmed to Supreme Court; Joe Manchin is the Only Democrat to Vote "Yes"

By Connect Clarksburg Staff | October 07, 2018
The U.S. Senate voted Saturday to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, with both of West Virginia’s senators among those voting in favor of confirmation.
Kavanaugh, who was sworn in Saturday, replaces Anthony Kennedy, who retired from the high court in July.
The confirmation vote came following protests against Kavanaugh in light of sexual assault accusations; Kavanaugh and California professor Christine Blasey Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, in which Ford said Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when both were teenagers. Kavanaugh has denied the accusations.
The final vote was 50-48. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, voted “present” as a gesture to Montana Sen. Steve Daines, who did not vote because he was attending his daughter’s wedding. Murkowski voted Friday against moving the nomination forward, the only Republican to do so.
Manchin and Capito both voted Friday to end cloture.
Manchin was the last senator to announce his position on Kavanaugh; he released a statement Friday afternoon minutes after Maine Sen. Susan Collins announced her support on the Senate floor.
“I met with the nominee for over two hours, attended his hearings, spoke with constitutional experts, and heard from thousands of West Virginians,” he said in a Friday press release.
“I have reservations about this vote given the serious accusations against Judge Kavanaugh and the temperament he displayed in the hearing. And my heart goes out to anyone who has experienced any type of sexual assault in their life,” he also said. “However, based on all of the information I have available to me, including the recently completed FBI report, I have found Judge Kavanaugh to be a qualified jurist who will follow the Constitution and determine cases based on the legal findings before him. I do hope that Judge Kavanaugh will not allow the partisan nature this process took to follow him onto the court.”
Manchin, the only Democrat to vote in favor of Kavanaugh, had said he was concerned about what putting Kavanaugh on the bench could mean for the provision regarding insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions.
“With respect to any cases that may come before him impacting the 800,000 West Virginians with pre-existing conditions, Judge Kavanaugh assured me personally that he would consider the human impacts and approach any decision with surgical precision to avoid unintended consequences,” he said. “That is why I voted to confirm Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to serve on the Supreme Court because I believe he will rule in a manner that is consistent with our Constitution.”
Capito was an early supporter of Kavanaugh.
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