Even as Kavanaugh took his oath of office Saturday evening in a quiet private ceremony, not long after the narrowest Senate confirmation in almost a century and a half, protesters chanted outside the court building across the street from the Capitol.
Some moderate Senators broke party lines during the procedural vote.
Democrats paraded to a almost empty Senate chamber overnight to lambast the nominee. He was the sixth Supreme Court nominee she has considered and the sixth she has approved. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, called the 53-year-old Kavanaugh a victim of "an ugly left-wing smear campaign" and charged Democrats with character assassination.
Trump, talking with Fox News' Jeanine Pirro, said he hated watching the slew of sexual assault allegations grow against Kavanaugh and dubbed all the accusations "fabrications" with "not a bit of truth".
After Ford came forward with her allegation in the Washington Post, Collins got Kavanaugh on the phone and talked to him for an hour.
But she said the Federal Bureau of Investigation had found no corroborating evidence from witnesses whose names Ms Ford had provided.
Trump has been holding rallies across the country as he tries to boost Republican turnout in November's midterm elections, which will determine which party will control the House and Senate during the second half of Trump's term.
That left Maine Republican Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said Saturday. But Collins also spent much of her remarks discussing issues other than the allegations made by three women, including the nominee's views on the use of the precedent set forth by past Supreme Court cases such as Roe v. Wade. Protesters have roamed Capitol Hill corridors and grounds daily, raising anxieties and underscoring the passions the nomination fight has aroused.
Announcements by Republican Susan Collins of ME and Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia that they'll support the conservative jurist made Saturday's confirmation vote a formality, an anticlimactic finale to a battle that riveted the nation for almost a month. In addition, Republican Senator Jeff Flake has also indicated he is a yes vote.
Trump, flying to Kansas for a political rally, flashed a thumbs-up gesture when the tally was announced and praised Kavanaugh for being "able to withstand this frightful, disgusting attack by the Democrats". In July 2017, Murkowski voted against the Senate GOP's "skinny repeal" plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, joining Collins and Sen. McConnell also said he didn't know he had the votes until senators were actually on the floor and voting. Manchin, the only Democrat supporting the nominee, faces a competitive re-election race next month in a state Trump carried in 2016 by 42 percentage points. "This is why women don't report sexual assaults", he said.
"I have no doubt", Trump said, telling reporters that he had chosen Kavanaugh, in part, because "there's nobody with a squeaky-clean past like Brett Kavanaugh".
Their move meant that McConnell could forge the narrowest of majorities to clear Kavanaugh, despite the fact that another Republican, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, opposed him. Republican Susan Collins of ME added her name to the majority of Senate Republicans who are supporting Kavanaugh. "That takes some backbone, '" she said, quoting Kavanaugh. Steve Daines of Montana, who supports Kavanaugh but was in Montana to walk his daughter down the aisle at her wedding. That procedure lets a senator offset another's absence without affecting the outcome, and will allow Kavanaugh to win by the same two-vote margin he'd have received had both lawmakers voted.
Barring an unlikely last-minute reversal from at least two senators who voted "yes" Friday to end the debate, Kavanaugh will be confirmed.
The story is expected to conclude on Saturday afternoon with a final roll call nearly solidly along party lines.