But the turmoil surrounding Kavanaugh has transformed the midterms into something bigger than Trump, with implications that could endure long after his presidency.

Still, Collins said, the allegations "fail to meet the "more likely than not" standard", and "I do not believe that these charges can fairly prevent Judge Kavanaugh from serving on the court".

He was referring to his Senate's refusal to hold hearings for former President Barack Obama's Supreme Court pick in 2016, and drawing a contrast between that and the sexual assault allegations and subsequent investigation brought against Kavanaugh.

Trump, throughout the day, insisted Kavanaugh would not be tainted by the sexual assault allegations from Christine Blasey Ford and others that almost tanked his nomination.

More importantly though, it was the Democrats who in 2013 set the wheels in motion of what is now an entirely partisan judicial confirmation process when they invoked the so called nuclear option and abolished the 60-vote rule that practically ensured that nominations could only be passed with significant bipartisan support.

In a separate appearance on CBS News's "Face the Nation", the majority leader predicted that the anti-Kavanaugh protests will backfire by energizing the Republican base in the November 6 mid-term elections, in which the GOP is looking to hang on to its majorities in the House and Senate.

Supreme Court judges are appointed for life and the 53-year-old Kavanaugh can potentially keep his position for decades.

US President Donald Trump scored a political victory when the Senate voted by a razor thin margin to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh, his nominee who battled last-minute accusations of sexual assault while a teenager in high school 36 years ago, as the Supreme Court Justice.

"Brett is a brilliant jurist who has faithfully applied the Constitution and laws throughout his 12 years on the D.C. Circuit".

Democrats had slammed McConnell for his willingness to advance the Kavanaugh nomination despite the sexual assault allegations against him when he would not give Garland a hearing. "I think we owed it him".

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The Senate backed Brett Kavanaugh's nomination by 50 votes to 48.

"I thought that Susan was incredible yesterday".

She demurred, but then added: "I'm focused like a laser beam on the elections", predicting angry voters would "go to the polls and vote differently".

Two of America's hallowed institutions, the US Capitol and the Supreme Court, became a nexus of.

But when asked on "Fox News Sunday" if that would apply in 2020, McConnell said: "We'll see if there is a vacancy". Heidi Heitkamp, who voted "No" on Kavanaugh.

He says in 1880 a vacancy was not filled when the Senate was controlled by the party opposing the president.

"I certainly believe Dr. Ford". Joe Manchin of West Virginia was the only Democrat to vote in favor of confirmation.

While the process was "unattractive", Trump also said Saturday that the extra week of investigation "was really a good thing" and said he believed the FBI report, which has not been made public, exonerated Kavanaugh.

White House officials now say they view the speech as a turning point that changed the momentum as it appeared Kavanaugh's nomination was at risk.

On Saturday night, Trump portrayed his successful confirmation vote on Kavanaugh as a reason voters should elect Republicans in next month's nationwide congressional elections, when the political control of Congress is at stake.