Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court in a 50-48 Senate vote Saturday after a divisive and bitter weeks-long political battle. But when Kavanaugh will be sworn in as the latest member of the Supreme Court, according to President Donald Trump, means that Kavanaugh won't have long to wait. Apparently, the president plans to have him officially sworn in later on Saturday.
"I applaud and congratulate the U.S. Senate for confirming our GREAT NOMINEE, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, to the United States Supreme Court," Trump tweeted shortly after the Senate's vote. "Later today, I will sign his Commission of Appointment, and he will be officially sworn in. Very exciting!"
Whether Kavanaugh would be confirmed was up in the air until just a few days before the final vote, when crucial swing votes Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) made it clear that they would support the president's nominee. GOP leaders passed a cloture vote to limit the Senate's debate on Kavanaugh to 30 hours — and the president's quick announcement about swearing him in the same day he was confirmed similarly rushed the process.
The Supreme Court confirmed that Kavanaugh would be sworn in on Saturday in a private court room in a statement provided to MSNBC. Chief Justice John Roberts will administer the Constitutional Oath and retired Justice Anthony Kennedy will administer the Judicial Oath. This process is the same as when Justice Neil Gorsuch was sworn in last year, except Gorsuch's second ceremony took place in the White House Rose Garden, per USA Today's Richard Wolf.
The Supreme Court's statement says Kavanaugh will be sworn in on Saturday "so that he can begin to participate in the work of the Court immediately." A formal ceremony will take place at a later date, possibly on Monday, according to Wolf.
"Judge Kavanaugh is among the very best our nation has to offer. He will make the Senate and the country proud. He will serve with distinction on our highest court. He unquestionably deserves confirmation. And the country deserves such a Supreme Court Justice," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tweeted after the vote was official.
Because the president tweeted about Kavanaugh's swearing in from Air Force one on his way to Kansas, as The Hill notes, it's unclear when on Saturday he'll sign the documents making it official.
Democrats who fought Kavanaugh's nomination were furious about Saturday's outcome and urged Democratic voters to channel their anger toward the midterm election.
"The minimum standard for a SCOTUS nominee should be someone who demonstrates impartiality, integrity, and truthfulness — Kavanaugh hasn’t demonstrated those qualities. Every American is entitled to the benefit of the doubt, but nobody is entitled to a seat on the Supreme Court," Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California) tweeted after the justice was confirmed.
After he's sworn in, Kavanaugh will get to work immediately. He could start hearing cases with SCOTUS as soon as Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reports.
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