What They’re Saying About Kavanaugh on the Senate Floor

What They’re Saying About Kavanaugh on the Senate Floor

WASHINGTON — The Senate is expected to vote Saturday afternoon to send Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court in a momentous victory for President Trump and Senate Republicans, after a grueling confirmation battle that roiled the nation.

As opponents and supporters of Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation gathered on Capitol Hill and outside the Supreme Court, a series of Democrats and a couple of Republicans made remarks on the Senate floor through Friday night and into Saturday morning.

The Democrats spoke out against what they called a “sham” investigation into allegations of sexual assault and misconduct against the judge, and in support of the flood of sexual assault survivors who have reached out to their offices. The Republicans defended Judge Kavanaugh, saying he had been unfairly attacked and praising his record as a judge.

Senator Jeff Merkley, Democrat of Oregon, spoke the longest, from 4 a.m. to 6 a.m., reading to an empty chamber the testimonies he had received from constituents detailing their stories of sexual abuse.

Here’s what some of the senators had to say.

“Women and men across this country have been telling their stories, screaming into this nation hoping the national conversation will shift from abusing those who have been abused to elevating truth again,” Mr. Booker said Friday night. “This body has had a test, and we are failing that test. This body has had a chance. This body has had a responsibility, and we have surrendered that responsibility.”

“This nominee was interviewing for a job in front of the American people, and he was belligerent, evasive and aggressive,” she said. “This nominee who currently sits as an appellate court judge on a D.C. circuit court disregarded all demeanor and respect for impartiality and independence.”

Mr. Lee, the lone Republican to hold the floor overnight, defended Judge Kavanaugh, and directly rebutted remarks made by Senator Angus King, independent of Maine, who spoke before him, criticizing the judge’s demeanor in his aggressive testimony last week before the Judiciary Committee.

“He certainly didn’t see the same thing I saw, which is someone who was seeking sincerely to defend his own record of public service, his own private conduct against great adversity, in circumstances in which he and his family have been dragged through the mud by no choice of their own,” Mr. Lee said.

“Ours was an investigation to figure out enough about what happened to determine if Brett Kavanaugh is fit to serve on the highest court in the land,” said Ms. Murray, one of the female senators who ran for office after the Anita Hill hearings in 1991. “We fell short. We did not do the American people justice.”

“‘What makes a good judge is independence, not being swayed by political or public pressure. That takes some backbone,’” she said, quoting Judge Kavanaugh.

“Judges make decisions based on law, not on policy, not based on political pressure, not based on the identity of the parties,” Ms. Fischer continued. “I believe his words and judicial philosophy are what every member of the Senate, Republican or Democrat, should require from their nominee.”

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