Monday, 22 October, 2018

Trump predicts Democrats will vote for Republicans because of Kavanaugh stance

Protesters against US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh demonstrate at the high court in Washington ahead of his confirmation Protesters against US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh demonstrate at the high court in Washington ahead of his confirmation
Glenn Montgomery | 09 October, 2018, 04:57

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh sought to put a bruising confirmation battle behind him on Monday at a White House ceremony in which President Donald Trump declared him innocent of sexual misconduct and apologized for the heated process.

Last week, the Federal Bureau of Investigation completed a report on sexual misconduct allegations against Mr Kavanaugh - but the findings have not been released to the public.

Mr Kavanaugh was voted into the Supreme Court on Saturday.

During this historic Supreme Court justice swearing in-cum-Dem-smackdown, Trump said "In our country a man or a woman must always be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty" adding, "And with that, I must state that you sir, under historic, scrutiny were proven innocent". Cory Booker, D-N.J., left open the possibility of impeaching Kavanaugh if Democrats take back one of the houses of Congress in next month's midterm elections.

Ceremonial swearing-ins are unusual for new justices.

The president delivered remarks ahead of the swearing-in ceremony at the White House. Democratic lawmakers, like Booker, are hoping to channel that anger into votes.

More recently, Democrats have cast doubt on Kavanaugh's account of his drinking while a teenager, an issue that came up repeatedly during a Senate hearing that included testimony from Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, who accused him of drunkenly assaulting her while they were in high school.

Without mentioning the sexual assault allegations, he touted his record of promoting women - and the fact he has become the first justice to have an all-female staff. Every sitting member of the Supreme Court was present at the ceremony.

"It was all made up, it was fabricated and it's a disgrace", he said.

"When I decided on Brett, I said he's flawless", Trump told the annual convention of the International Association of Chiefs of Police in Orlando, Florida.

"Although the Senate confirmation process tested me as it has tested others, it did not change me", he said. On Monday, the president said "evil" people brought about the situation that slowed Kavanaugh's confirmation.

Now that Mr Kavanaugh is confirmed, the nine-justice court, which rules on constitutional questions, is expected to take a more reliably conservative approach.

Two years ago, McConnell blocked a vote on Garland, citing what he said was a tradition of not filling vacancies in a presidential election year.

Republicans hold a 51-49 majority in the Senate, with several seats up for grabs in November.

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