Demonstrators Gather in Washington, Elsewhere to Oppose Kavanaugh Nomination

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Trump has been using it to rev up his supporters; at rally in Minnesota this week, thousands of the president's backers chanted "Vote him in!"

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said Kavanaugh had disqualified himself many times over because of his views on presidential power, gun rights and abortion rights. The Republican Party may have achieved a conservative majority on the Supreme Court for a decade, but in the process it may have alienated women and independent voters for a decade.

The end of the month-long fierce battle between the ruling Republican and the opposition Democratic gives a major political victory to President Donald Trump and his party ahead of the November 6 mid-term elections. "Later today, I will sign his Commission of Appointment, and he will be officially sworn in".

In 2018, Democrats hope to ride to a "blue wave" of anger over Trump and Kavanaugh that could flip control of Congress.

She added that she believes "Judge Kavanaugh is more of a centrist than some of his critics maintain..."

The confirmation has left a bitter taste.

"This is really the last gasp of white supremacy", Ms Winnie Wong, a senior advisor for the Women's March told The Straits Times.

Most obviously, that Murkowski is nearly certainly a "no" on Kavanaugh's confirmation.

Even so, Democrats called for Kavanaugh to withdraw his nomination. "And where is the respect?" she said.

Kavanaugh's nomination always was destined to become a partisan battleground because of the justice he was picked to replace: Anthony Kennedy, the Supreme Court's swing vote, who had sided with his liberal colleagues on issues such as abortion, affirmative action and gay rights.

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Kavanaugh's nomination as a replacement for retiring justice Anthony Kennedy was controversial from the start - but the initial focus was exclusively on the conservative views held by the married father of two. These decisions are consequential.

"The Kavanaugh issue has nearly acted as a centrifuge to separate red and blue elements of the electorate even more", David Wasserman, House editor of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, told the Washington Post.

Novelist Stephen King, one of Maine's most famous exports, urged Collins to vote no when Kavanaugh's nomination comes to the floor Saturday. Republican Susan Collins of ME added her name to the majority of Senate Republicans who are supporting Kavanaugh.

Arizona Republican Jeff Flake, the other senator who had been wavering this week, said Friday he will vote to confirm Kavanaugh unless something significant changes.

In her speech, Susan Collins decried a confirmation process that she said was "dysfunctional" and "looks more like a caricature of a gutter level political campaign".

Judge Kavanaugh's qualifications were not in doubt. She said she believes voting against Kavanaugh without witnesses or proof could start a "dangerous" precedent.

"On average, any woman in the United States Senate, whether they're on Judiciary or any other committee, probably works harder than the average man".

Kavanaugh's judicial record on abortion is thin, although last year he was on a panel of judges that issued an order preventing a 17-year-old illegal immigrant detained in Texas by U.S. authorities from immediately obtaining an abortion.

But the taint may cling to the Judge, and to the Court. If confirmed, Kavanaugh could tip the court's balance toward conservatives for a generation.