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Sexual Assualt

3 additions to document , most recent about 2 years ago

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Oct-12-18 more info
Oct-12-18 more info
Nov-02-18 other opinions

From the beginning, the women were determined to be disruptive. There sat Brett Kavanaugh, looking every bit the world’s most decent man, with his even demeanor and sparkling résumé, ready to go through the motions and receive the benediction of the Senators before him.

Since the day of his nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, Kavanaugh had portrayed himself as a champion of women. Introducing himself to the nation, he emphasized the women he cherished, saying his mother, a judge, was his ultimate role model, talking about his daughters and the “majority” of female law clerks he’d hired. Members of the girls’ basketball teams he’s coached sat in the front rows behind him at his Senate confirmation hearing. Earlier, he had recited the names of his daughter’s teammates: “Anna, Quinn, Kelsey, Ceane, Chloe, Alex, Ava, Sophia and Margaret,” he said. “I love helping the girls grow into confident players.”

He had spent a lifetime pushing all the right buttons, and now nothing seemed to stand between the conservative federal judge and a seat on the nation’s highest court. But one after another, women interrupted. Protesters popped up in the back of the room, yelling and waving signs before being hustled out by police. Women Senators spoke out of turn: “Mr. Chairman, I’d like to be recognized,” pleaded Democrat Kamala Harris of California, to no avail. Kavanaugh sat quietly in the middle of it all, a cherubic smile on his face.

But the women, it turned out, weren’t done disrupting him. Just when the end seemed in sight–his confirmation vote less than a week away after a hearing that had turned up no more than the usual partisan angst–Christine Blasey Ford, a California college professor, decided to put her name to a devastating accusation, charging that, some 36 years prior, when they were both in high school, Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her.

It was a hazy accusation: hesitantly lodged, short on detail and curiously timed. But Ford’s charge shattered Kavanaugh’s carefully crafted tableau, calling into doubt the image he projected. The row of young girls, legs bare in their private-school skirts, looked different now. In the ensuing scramble, Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote was postponed, and he and Ford were invited to testify before the committee on Sept. 24. The prospect of such an extraordinary public hearing conjured obvious parallels to Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas. Twenty-seven years later, another professor with misgivings about coming forward had leveled allegations against a conservative Supreme Court nominee on the eve of his confirmation. And what had seemed a done deal became a fraught and fitting modern morality play.

But while the political spectacle may be similar, this battle will unfold in a different era. Every week brings new variations on the theme of women, racked with pain and rage, rising up in protest after too many years of trauma and terrified silence. Every week, too, has brought fresh reminders of the extent to which our whole reality is the product of the privilege and prejudices of entitled men. They decided what the story was, who got ahead, what the laws were and to whom they applied. Who lived and who died, from prisoners on death row to the fetus in the womb. Who was believed and who was destroyed. The men handled the disruptions quickly and quietly, with lawyers and payments and handshakes, with the grip of a policeman’s fist and a gavel pounded on a desk. Until suddenly there were too many to be contained.

Kavanaugh rejects the charge made against him. “I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation,” he said in response. “I did not do this back in high school or at any time.” The White House has stood behind him, and his supporters say he is determined to surmount this last-minute obstacle. “What is being attempted here is a smear campaign to destroy his reputation as a decent man, and he’s not going to allow that to happen,” says a source involved in the confirmation process who speaks to Kavanaugh regularly. “He’s steadfast in his resolve to see it through and to tell the truth and to clear his name.”

His opponents say this must be the time when the scales tip in the other direction. “Now is our moment,” says Ilyse Hogue, head of the abortion-rights group NARAL. “We’ve had enough. We’re not going to take any more. Women are determined to make this a turning point in this country.”

With just a few weeks to go until the first national election of the Trump era, one in which all signs point to a tsunami of female rage as the decisive factor, a dramatic face-off between Kavanaugh and his accuser may be on the horizon–a showdown between two individuals and their memories of what did or didn’t happen so many years ago. But the stakes go beyond that, to who is believed and who decides the truth at this turbulent moment in America. Decisions–a high schooler’s, a judge’s, a middle-aged professor’s–have consequences. How the Kavanaugh drama plays out could be the ultimate test of today’s struggle for political and cultural power.

It was 1982 or thereabouts: “Eye of the Tiger,” Reaganomics, E.T. Christine Blasey, approximately 15, lived in an affluent suburb of Washington, D.C., and attended an elite all-girls private school in Bethesda, Md. One summer night, perhaps after a day at the country-club pool, she went to a party at someone’s house. She was wearing her one-piece bathing suit under her clothes.

She drank beer in the family room, along with some boys she didn’t know well. They were from Georgetown Prep, the all-boys private school a few miles away. The boys at Georgetown Prep had fathers who were lobbyists and businessmen and government officials. They were being groomed to perpetuate the prosperity and status into which they’d been born.

In Ford’s account, Kavanaugh pushed her into a bedroom as she came up the stairs. Loud music was playing. His friend Mark Judge, across the room, was laughing, Ford recalled, as a drunken Kavanaugh pinned her down and tried to get under her clothes to her teenage body.

Ford wasn’t laughing. She was terrified. What if I die? she thought. She tried to scream, but he covered her mouth with his hand. He fumbled, frustrated, with her swimsuit. Finally, after Judge jumped on them, she wriggled free, locked herself in a bathroom and, when she’d heard the boys leave the room, ran out of the house, she said in an interview with the Washington Post.

About a decade later, as Ford moved through young adulthood to her academic career, a different man, Clarence Thomas, was nominated to the Supreme Court. Anita Hill, a woman who’d worked with him, came forward to accuse him of a prolonged campaign of sexual harassment. She faced a wall of male Senators from both parties, who needled and disbelieved her, and voted through the nominee, after he called the hearing a “high-tech lynching.” A year later there was an election, and women mobbed the polls, vastly expanding their numbers in Congress. Hill had lost her confrontation with the forces of power, but she’d helped propel a decades-long shift in the way women perceived their place in society.

Many more years would pass before Christine Blasey Ford confronted what she said happened when she was a teenager. Thirty years after the alleged incident, a 51-year-old married mother of two working as a research psychologist at a university in Northern California, it still weighed on her. She’d never told anyone the details of the incident until, in 2012, she related the story to her therapist and her husband. Notes from that session largely corroborate her account, according to the Post story, but if Ford said the boy’s name, the therapist didn’t write it down.

By July 2018, the boy she remembered was mentioned on the short list of potential nominees to the Supreme Court. The last thing she wanted was to be caught in the middle of that–she had a quiet life, was politically liberal but hardly an activist, had suffered enough already. But it didn’t feel right not to say anything. So she sent a letter to her Congresswoman and left an anonymous message on a newspaper tip line. She figured they would find a way to do something about it; she figured she could keep her name out of it.

The Congresswoman and the newspaper didn’t know what to do with the anonymous accusation. The boy was on course to replace his former boss, retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, potentially changing the face of American law by cementing a conservative majority for a generation. On July 30, Ford wrote a letter to California Senator Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, saying Kavanaugh had assaulted her but requesting anonymity. Feinstein said nothing publicly until mid-September, when, with Kavanaugh on the cusp of his confirmation vote, she announced that she had referred an unspecified matter to the FBI.

Ford had hired a lawyer and taken a lie-detector test, but as rumors circulated and reporters started showing up at her door, she concluded she would have to put her name behind the allegation. “Now I feel like my civic responsibility is outweighing my anguish and terror about retaliation,” she told the Washington Post in a detailed account that is the only public statement she has made. Ford’s lawyer didn’t respond to an interview request for this article.

For his part, Kavanaugh stood by his blanket denial. “This is a completely false allegation,” he said. “I have never done anything like what the accuser describes–to her or to anyone.”

The reaction was swift and furious. The Senate delayed a Sept. 20 committee vote on Kavanaugh, and Judiciary chairman Chuck Grassley scheduled a hearing for Monday, Sept. 24. Ford had said she was willing to give her testimony to the Senate, but on Sept. 18 her lawyer announced that Ford wanted a proper investigation first. Democrats insisted more time was needed for the FBI to probe the matter; by midweek it wasn’t clear whether the planned hearing would go forward.

Ford’s fears about going public have been validated. Furious partisans bombarded her with threats and abuse, forcing her to hire security and move out of her home temporarily, her lawyer said. Ford also received an outpouring of support, the lawyer added. The White House of Donald Trump–a President who has been accused of sexual misconduct by at least 19 women, has been caught on tape boasting about sexual assault and has admitted to paying off women who claim to have had affairs with him–was measured in its response. Senior counselor Kellyanne Conway said Ford “should not be insulted and should not be ignored.” Trump, who has called all his accusers liars and frequently expressed sympathy for men accused of sexual misconduct, lamented the accusation but said it merited a delay in the process.

At the same time, Republicans geared up to defend Kavanaugh. A conservative group announced it would spend $1.5 million to air an ad featuring a longtime female friend attesting to his character. Advocates released supportive statements from two of his former girlfriends. The suite of offices on the fourth floor of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building that served as the nerve center for Kavanaugh’s nomination hearings once again bustled with activity. Kavanaugh huddled with White House counsel Don McGahn, who is shepherding his nomination, and repeated his blanket denials, a White House official said. He made calls to lawmakers and spent hours in mock cross-examination about the allegation, his conduct and his character.

Because he has explicitly denied ever behaving in the manner Ford described, any evidence that supports her account would shatter his credibility. “He emphatically denied that the allegations were true,” said Senator Susan Collins, the moderate Maine Republican who is considered a key swing vote, after discussing the allegations with Kavanaugh in an hourlong phone conversation. “He said that he had never acted that way, not only with this unnamed accuser but with any woman. He was absolutely emphatic about that.” Collins added, “Obviously, if Judge Kavanaugh has lied about what happened, that would be disqualifying.”

At the same time, the details missing from Ford’s story make it equally possible that evidence will emerge to undermine it. She says she is not sure when the alleged incident occurred, who hosted the party or how she got to the party. The source involved in the process expects new revelations to fill what he called the “gaps” in Ford’s story. “An individual who puts an allegation out with some serious gaps invites that kind of gap filling,” the source says. “Sometimes that gap filling helps corroborate what’s already there, and sometimes it completely blows the story out of the water.”

The same moderate Republicans and red-state Democrats to whom Kavanaugh’s squeaky-clean introduction was targeted are now jittery and hesitant about his confirmation prospects. Collins and Senator Lisa Murkowski, another Republican who supports abortion rights, were among the first to call for hearings. Democrats Heidi Heitkamp, Joe Donnelly, Jon Tester, Claire McCaskill and Joe Manchin, all of whom are up for re-election in states Trump won handily and were considered possible votes for Kavanaugh, also called for further investigation. The GOP’s one-vote majority means that without any Democratic votes, it can afford only one defection to get the nomination through.

All this comes against the backdrop of an election season that was already shaping up as a referendum on male impunity and female empowerment. Before Ford came forward, the major issues in Kavanaugh’s hearings were how he might rule on cases related to abortion and Trump’s susceptibility to prosecution–two issues that relate directly to the same questions of power and autonomy. Both parties have every incentive to fight to the finish: Democrats see an opportunity to galvanize their already furious base, while Republicans, who’d hoped to put a big election-eve win on the board, fear discouraging theirs.

Into this storm will step two people, a man and a woman, who were once a boy and a girl, who may or may not have collided on a hot suburban night so many years ago. What happens next will answer the central question: Decisions have consequences–but for whom?

With reporting by Charlotte Alter and Alana Abramson/New York; Philip Elliot/Tampa; and Brian Bennet, Tessa Berenson, Abby Vesoulis and Justin Worland/Washington

This appears in the October 01, 2018 issue of TIME.

DMU Timestamp: September 17, 2018 17:21

Added October 12, 2018 at 2:14pm by Maggie Condas
Title: more info

(CNN)As the Senate inches closer to determining whether Judge Brett Kavanaugh will be confirmed to the US Supreme Court, the dreaded prospect of a "he said, she said" contest looms large.

According to Christine Blasey Ford, when the two were high school students, Kavanaugh attempted to sexually assault her at a party. Ford has reportedly described Kavanaugh's alleged actions in detail -- pushing her into a bedroom, pinning her down, and attempting to remove her clothing. To prevent Ford from calling for help, she says, Kavanaugh and another student covered her mouth, causing her to fear for her life.

Deborah Tuerkheimer

Politicians on both sides of the aisle should be able to agree that sexual misconduct of this kind would be disqualifying behavior for a Supreme Court nominee. (The passage of time since the incident allegedly took place would arguably matter only if Kavanaugh had accepted responsibility and expressed remorse, neither of which has occurred.) Yet I worry about whether Ford's account -- even if believed -- will ultimately matter to many of the Senators who will decide on Kavanaugh's confirmation.

Throughout our history, the harm of sexual violence, particularly when inflicted by an acquaintance, has been trivialized or ignored. To this day, sexual assault survivors are unlikely to see justice prevail. Their accusations are often reflexively disregarded by law enforcement officers who short-circuit the investigation before exhausting opportunities to gather available corroborative evidence.

Faced with these grim realities, sexual assault survivors tend to give up altogether on the promise of criminal justice. According to recent Justice Department estimates, the population most vulnerable to sexual assault, females ages 18-24, reported incidents of rape or sexual assault to police at rates of only 20% among college students and 32% among non-college students. Among the most common reasons for not reporting these incidents were fear of reprisal and a belief that authorities could or would do nothing to help.

Kavanaugh's accuser seems to have reasonably anticipated that she would encounter considerable skepticism if she came forward with her story. And indeed, one prominent Kavanaugh supporter has already hinted that she was too intoxicated at the time of the alleged assault to be a reliable reporter while still more Kavanaugh defenders have insisted that he is a "good person" -- that is, not the type of man who would attempt sexual assault. In the days and perhaps weeks ahead, we should anticipate that Ford's character and her credibility will be relentlessly attacked.

Ford is far from alone. "Credibility discounting," as I have explained in a recent paper, is a huge problem inside our legal system and throughout society. But providing hope for survivors in the past year, this has begun to change.

Since allegations against Harvey Weinstein surfaced last October, countless women and men have come forward with previously unreported allegations of sexual misconduct. It has become evident that sexual abuse is rampant, not only in the workplace and on college campuses, but throughout adolescence. The jury is out on whether the #MeToo movement can transform this reality.

Moving forward, our societal response to accusations must take as a given that sexual misconduct is wrong -- wrong decades ago and wrong now. It remains to be seen whether the Senate accepts this as a starting point as it prepares to hear testimony from Ford, who deserves to be judged without resort to tired notions of how survivors of sexual violence should behave.

To give a pass to a man accused of sexual violence without a hearing that is fair and unbiased would significantly set back progress that the #MeToo movement has sparked. And worst of all, survivors of sexual assault and other sexual misconduct would be reminded once again that the system is fine-tuned to protect the powerful.

DMU Timestamp: September 17, 2018 17:21

Added October 12, 2018 at 2:18pm by Maggie Condas
Title: more info

“Do you want to be arrested?” the cop asks Amy Schumer. “Yes” she says simply. She was one of the 302 women held after protesting at a Senate office building against the likely confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the US supreme court. They were arrested for “unlawfully demonstrating”. One of the chants in the crowd was: “This is what democracy looks like.” Indeed, this is what democracy looks like when trust in its institutions has been shattered and civil disobedience appears to be the only option. Women’s silence explodes into anger. Anger and disbelief. What does it take to be listened to many asked, after Dr Christine Blasey Ford, the “perfect victim”, gave her testimony in what was a job interview, not a trial.

What does it take to be believed?

The FBI did not believe it needed to speak to her again. It produced a 1,000-page report and senators had an hour to read it. Republicans are now reassured there was no hint of sexual misconduct. Indeed Kavanaugh got to write his own op-edin the Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal, where he self-servingly made his case again. He may have been too emotional he says. He may have “said a few things I should not have said. I hope everyone can understand that I was there as a son, husband and dad”. Yes we understand very well, us daughters, wives and mothers. We understand now exactly who is allowed to be emotional and who isn’t.

We understand that it is entirely permissible these days for the president of America to parade his disrespect at rallies, to mock Ford’s testimony, to insult female reporters as a row of silent men stand behind him. As the US mid-term elections approach, he is mobilising his base once more. It’s a difficult and scary time to be a young man in America, he has told us. It is indeed difficult and scary to be accused of sexual assault. He should know.

If Kavanaugh is confirmed, though more than 2,000 law professors have signed a letter questioning his suitability in terms of temperament to be a judge at all, a very direct message is being sent out to women: that the ranks of patriarchy will close to block women’s voices. The next step is to close down women’s choices.

If #MeToo and Time’s Up have been about women as survivors of everyday sexual abuse finding a collective voice, what this circus has been about is the pretence that this voice matters. This is not about whether women tell the truth, but whether that truth actually changes anything. Ford stood there shouldering the burden of having to represent every woman who has been violated. No one can do that and as we now know her testimony was not good enough.

What was preferred was the ruddy-faced ranting of an entitled man who became aggressive when he felt his privilege under question. No wonder that Trump saw something of himself in this performance, something that he wanted on his side.

When Kavanaugh gets his job, it’s unlikely that Roe v Wade will be overturned overnight. Instead a series of smaller interventions that limit abortion services will continue to be made. During his tenure as a federal judge, he once ruled against a 17-year-old woman who sued the government after she was denied access to an abortion while in custody for illegally crossing the border.

Trump’s formerly laissez-faire attitude has now hardened into an anti-abortion one, purely to win votes. Women will simply travel to other states if certain states make abortion impossible. Already urban centres have choice, rural ones don’t. West Virginia, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota and Kentucky each have just one remaining abortion provider. Doctors, often at risk themselves because of death threats, are flying hundreds of miles to provide services to the queues of women in need. Poor women, as always, cannot afford to travel. This is what this supreme court nomination is about: American women waking up to a world in which their daughters will have fewer rights than they did.

This is where we join the dots. The same system that is running scared of #MeToo is the system that will clamp down on reproductive rights. This is indeed a matter of belief. Not only do many of us believe women who speak out about sexual assault and rape, we believe that we have the right to choose what we do with our own bodies.

What we have seen so clearly is that the push-back to #MeToo is a power grab by the chief pussy-grabber himself. Kavanaugh will be in place long after Trump has gone. Truth is not the issue here. It’s a farce. It matters not whether Ford told the truth, they don’t much care if she did. Their guy matters more.

All of this is has been played out in public. Some women shout and hold banners. Others stand silently holding their palms up inked “I was 15” on one and “I didn’t tell” on the other. What we are witnessing is not “bad optics”, but an unmistakable display of male supremacy .

The one in four women in America who have had abortions now need to speak up: this other kind of #MeToo has been effective across Europe and in Ireland. There is huge power in women’s refusal to be shamed. As Schumer said, “We will keep showing up”.

This anger will not subside, it will keep flowing. Women are not going to keep men’s secrets any longer.

Suzanne Moore is a Guardian columnist

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The Guardian is editorially independent. So we set our own agenda. Our journalism is free from commercial bias. It isn’t influenced by billionaire owners, politicians or shareholders. No one edits our editor. No one steers our opinion. This means we can give a voice to the voiceless. It lets us challenge the powerful - and hold them to account. And at a time when factual, honest reporting is critical, it’s what sets us apart from so many others.

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DMU Timestamp: September 17, 2018 17:21

Added November 02, 2018 at 1:55pm by Maggie Condas
Title: other opinions

Speaking at a swearing-in ceremony for Associate Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in the East Room of the White House Monday evening, President Trump apologized to Kavanaugh and his family "on behalf of our nation" for what he called a desperate Democrat-led campaign of "lies and deception" intent on derailing his confirmation.

"On behalf of our nation, I want to apologize to Brett and the entire Kavanaugh family for the terrible pain and suffering you have been forced to endure," Trump began. "Those who step forward to serve our country deserve a fair and dignified evaluation, not a campaign of political and personal destruction based on lies and deception. What happened to the Kavanaugh family violates every notion of fairness, decency, and due process. In our country, a man or a woman must always be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty."

Trump added that "under historic scrutiny," Kavanaugh had been "proven innocent." A series of uncorroborated and disputed sexual misconduct allegationshad threatened to upend Kavanaugh's confirmation, and some top Democrats have floated further investigations and even possibly impeaching Kavanaugh.

To sustained, raucous applause, Trump entered the event Monday night flanked by Kavanaugh and former Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, who hired Kavanaugh as a law clerk from 1993 to 1994. All sitting Supreme Court justices were in attendance, as well as Kavanaugh's parents, wife, and two daughters.

"You, sir, under historic scrutiny, were proven innocent."

— President Trump to Brett Kavanaugh

Trump thanked top Republicans for spearheading Kavanaugh's confirmation, and particularly praised Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins. Kavanaugh's elevation to the Supreme Court appeared certain only after Collins delivered a dramatic, point-by-point explanation of her vote for Kavanaugh in a floor speech on Friday afternoon. "We are indebted to Susan Collins for her brave and eloquent speech," Trump said.

The president also led a standing ovation for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., whom he called a "great" leader who has done an "incredible job for the American people." Under McConnell, Republicans have now confirmed 26 federal appellate judges and two Supreme Court justices. (Kavanaugh's rise to the Supreme Court creates a new vacancy on the influential D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, where he had served for 12 years.)

SUSAN COLLINS CRITICIZES ANTI-KAVANAUGH ACTIVISTS FOR 'TRYING TO BUY VOTES'

At the conclusion of Trump's remarks, Kennedy administered the oath to Kavanaugh as his family looked on, and the room again broke out into sustained applause. As Trump noted, it was the first time a Supreme Court justice has ever sworn in his former clerk to take his seat.

Taking the podium as the Supreme Court's newest justice, Kavanaugh acknowledged the partisan rancor that surrounded his confirmation and gripped the nation over the past two months. "I take this office with gratitude and no bitterness," he said.

"All nine of us revere the Constitution," Kavanaugh continued, referring to his new colleagues. "The Supreme Court is an institution of law. It is not a partisan or political institution. The justices do not sit on opposite sides of the aisle. ... The Supreme Court is a team of nine, and I will always be a team player on a team of nine."

At times emotional, Kavanaugh praised his "amazing" and "fearless" friends for standing by him, and said that his focus now is "to be the best justice I can be."

"My goal is to be a great justice, for all Americans, and for all of America," Kavanaugh said. "I will work very hard to achieve that goal. I was not appointed to serve one party or one interest, but one nation."

He vowed to continue to "coach, teach, and tutor" -- a notable promise, given thatstudent backlash at Harvard Law School last week prompted Kavanaugh to withdraw from teaching a planned course there.

"I take this office with gratitude and no bitterness."

— Associate Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh

"I am an optimist. I live on the sunrise side of the mountain," Kavanaugh said, echoing a line from his fiery testimony last month before the Senate Judiciary Committee. "I see the day that is coming, not the day that has gone."

KAVANAUGH, WIFE, ACCUSER ALL RECEIVE GRAPHIC DEATH THREATS

The Monday evening oath was entirely ceremonial. Kavanaugh took his official oaths in a private ceremony at the Supreme Court on Saturday, shortly after the Senate voted to confirm him by a narrow 50-48 margin.

The event, a high-spirited flourish after a historically bitter and partisan confirmation battle, was a nationally televised opportunity for Kavanaugh to speak directly to the nation that is increasingly divided along partisan lines. Fox News polls show that GOP enthusiasm is up across the board in the wake of the Kavanaugh showdown, even though political headwinds normally work against the party of incumbent presidents in their first midterm elections.

Kavanaugh, along with his law clerks, has been at the Supreme Court preparing for his first day on the bench Tuesday. The high court is set to hear arguments in two cases about longer prison terms for repeat offenders. (Kavanaugh's four clerks all are women, the first time that has happened.)

WATCH: WHAT'S AHEAD FOR KAVANAUGH'S FIRST SUPREME COURT TERM?

However, the upcoming Supreme Court term is "fairly benign when it comes to hot-button issues," Adam Feldman, a Supreme Court expert who runs the blog Empirical SCOTUS, told Fox News. "This makes me think that the justices were aware of [Justice Anthony] Kennedy's likely departure when they starting granting cases for this term."

On Saturday, Chief Justice John Roberts administered Kavanaugh's constitutional oath and Kennedy administered his judicial oath. Protesters outside banged on the Supreme Court's doors, with some trying to fight their way inside. Capitol Hill police, assisting U.S. Supreme Court police, have arrested hundreds of anti-Kavanaugh protesters in recent days.

VICE PRESIDENT PENCE FACES PROTESTERS INSTEAD OF USING SIDE EXIT AT CAPITOL, TELLS SECURITY DETAIL, 'LET'S DO IT'

The new justice was "caught up in a hoax that was set up by the Democrats," Trump said as he left the White House earlier Monday for a quick trip to Florida. "It was all made up, it was fabricated and it's a disgrace."

"We stood up to the mob."

— Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

The climactic 50-48 roll call vote Saturday on Kavanaugh was the closest vote to confirm a justice since 1881.

Collins, the Maine moderate Trump thanked in his opening remarks Monday, revealed on Sunday that she initially thought Kavanaugh "perhaps needed to withdraw" after she heard Christine Blasey Ford's "very compelling and painful" testimony.

But then, Collins said, "When [Kavanaugh] came back with a forceful denial, the anger and anguish he showed, and then the lack of corroboration, led me back to the fundamental issues to our legal system."

On Sunday, Collins criticized opponents' efforts to fundraise against her vote, calling them nothing more than blatant ploys to buy votes in a future election.

“They are asking me to perform an official act and if I do not do what they want, $2 million plus is going to go to my opponent. I think that if our politics has come to the point where people are trying to buy votes and buy positions, then we are in a very sad place,” Collins told CBS News' "60 Minutes."

DEMS WAGE WAR ON KAVANAUGH: WILL IMPEACHMENT THREATS GO ANYWHERE?

Ultimately, every Democrat voted against Kavanaugh except for Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a deeply red state where Kavanaugh remains highly popular. Manchin is up for re-election this year.

McConnell on Sunday praised his fellow GOP senators, who he said re-established the "presumption of innocence" in confirmation hearings.

"We stood up to the mob," he added.

Fox News' Mike Arroyo and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

DMU Timestamp: November 02, 2018 17:13





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