Protesters rage as Trump celebrates Kavanaugh victory

Supporters lined up early in a chilly rain to see President Donald Trump at a Topeka rally on Saturday

Supporters lined up early in a chilly rain to see President Donald Trump at a Topeka rally on Saturday

Hundreds of protesters in and around the U.S. Capitol - many of whom were women - were arrested in the past week.

Mr Schumer said that for all those who opposed the nomination, "there is one answer - vote" in the November mid-term elections.

The US Senate is set to take an initial vote on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh on Friday, in a crucial test of whether the federal judge has the votes to be confirmed to the supreme court.

Of the protesters, he said: "that crowd could fit in the second row".

Republicans control the Senate by a meager 51-49 margin, and announcements of support Friday from Republicans Jeff Flake of Arizona and Susan Collins of ME, along with Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia, locked in the needed votes. He was referring to Deborah Ramirez, who said Kavanaugh exposed himself to her during a drunken party while they attended Yale University in the 1980s.

He said Saturday he thinks Republicans "are going to do incredibly well" in the elections after Kavanaugh's confirmation. Among them were three of the chamber's moderate Republicans, Senators Jeff Flake of Arizona, Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat up for re-election in conservative West Virginia.

"We must always remember that it is when passions are most inflamed that fairness is most in jeopardy", said Collins, perhaps the chamber's most moderate Republican.

Leahy, a former Judiciary Committee chairman, remains bitter at McConnell for declaring, within hours of Justice Antonin Scalia's death in February 2016, that he would not allow any Supreme Court nominee of President Barack Obama's to receive a hearing because it was Obama's previous year in office. She told reporters that Kavanaugh is "a good man" but maybe "not the right man for the court at this time".

Brett Kavanaugh will be sworn in as a justice to US Supreme Court on Saturday - hours after he was confirmed by the Senate, the court announced in a statement.

Kavanaugh is expected to be sworn in quickly and will join four liberal justices and four other conservatives as the court, which is expected soon to hear controversial disputes involving abortion, immigration, gay rights and voting rights.

The president's visit to Topeka drew supporters for him — and other Republicans
The president's visit to Topeka drew supporters for him — and other Republicans. Credit Nomin Ujiyediin Kansas News Service

"Took a week - but that extra week was a great thing", he said, referring to the supplemental FBI background investigation into the allegations against Kavanaugh.

Murkowski voted no on the procedural vote; Flake, Collins and Manchin voted yes.

On the opposing side, his supporters rallied behind Trump, who ridiculed Kavanaugh's main accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, and the others opposing him calling them "an angry left-wing mob".

"We have a separation of powers that doesn't exist any more, and it's very scary", she said.

In a procedural vote that handed Republicans an initial victory, senators voted 51-49 Friday to limit debate and keep the nomination alive, defeating Democratic efforts to scuttle it with endless delays. But a change of heart by some lawmakers in the final vote would mean his confirmation could still be derailed.

Kavanaugh has denied all allegations against him.

The demonstration outside the Supreme Court was due to accusations of sexual assault by three women, including Dr Christine Blasey Ford, who testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee last week.

Chief Justice John Roberts will administer the constitutional oath and retired Justice Anthony Kennedy, who Kavanaugh is replacing, will administer the judicial oath in a private ceremony.

"I think we have a momentum that hasn't been seen in years", he said.

After touting the economy and unemployment, and bringing gubernatorial candidate Kris Kobach and House candidate Steve Watkins on stage, Trump returned to Democrats, attacking potential 2020 opponents and the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, including one riff where he appeared to imagine beating up Joe Biden.

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