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Kavanaugh Aftermath: The Battle for the Court Is Now the Battle for the Ballot


WASHINGTON – Despite weeks of protests and multiple sexual assault allegations, Brett Kavanaugh will take his place as the 114th justice of the United States Supreme Court.

One of the pivotal confirmation votes came from Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME). 

Collins admits she initially thought Kavanaugh should withdraw after hearing Dr. Christine Ford's testimony. 

However, his strong response to the allegations changed her mind.

"When he came back with such a forceful denial and the anger and anguish that he showed and then the lack of corroboration led me back to the fundamentals of our legal system: a presumption of innocence," Collins explained to CNN's "State of the Union." 

The political consequences of Collins' decision remain to be seen. 

Although she is not up for re-election this year, a site raising money for her 2020 challenger crashed after her announcement to back Kavanaugh – so far, it's raised more than $3.5 million. 

While the GOP won the confirmation battle, both sides are determined to win the war for control of Congress. 

Republicans say the Democrats' tactics ahead of the confirmation are reigniting the GOP ahead of midterms. 

"We have been energized! We have been energized," President Donald Trump told the crowd at a rally in Topeka, Kansas, Saturday. 

"The Democrats have become too extreme and too dangerous to govern. Republicans believe in the rule of law, not the rule of the mob," the president continued. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) shared the president's optimism. 

"The tactics that have been employed both by Judiciary Committee Democratic senators and by the virtual mob that's assaulted all of us in the course of this process, has turned our base on fire," said McConnell. 
But Democrats say the anger displayed by scores of protesters on Capitol Hill, many of them women, will have a long-term impact.

"All these angry people out there, they know that it is the people who are sitting in the Senate that they've elected who are making these decisions and they're going to go to the polls and they're going to vote differently," warned Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI). 

"Let's speak the truth – that it was a denial of justice for the women of this country and sexual assault survivors, men, and women," Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) told the crowd at the Ohio Democratic Party's annual state dinner.

"The bottom line is that they may have the power right now, but we need to take it back. And the only way we are going to do that is when we get everyone out to vote," Harris continued. 

While some Democrats, including Congressman Jerry Nadler (D-NY), toy with the idea of investigating and even impeaching Kavanaugh should the Democrats take the House, others say the party should be focused on the election and healing the divide.  

"The Senate's role in our politics is not just to reflect the country but to help heal and lead the country and that's the course we should be on," Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) told NBC's "Meet the Press." 

In the meantime, Kavanaugh will attend a swearing-in ceremony with President Trump Monday at the White House, and his first vote as an associate justice could come as early as Tuesday. 

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