Justice Kavanaugh unlikely to heed calls for recusal

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In exchange for early recess to go home to campaign, Democrats have agreed to immediately confirm 12 district court judges and 3 appeals court judges and not require the 30 hour rule for debate.

Senator Joe Manchin, who was facing tough re-election campaign in red state West Virginia, was the only Democrat to vote for Kavanaugh's confirmation.

"Make no mistake, today was yet another step in the GOP's takeover of our courts, stacking the deck against women and families at every level", Ilyse Hogue, the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said after the votes. "The Constitution gives the Senate an important role in the confirmation process, but you have replaced advise and consent with search and destroy", he declared.

Among Republicans, it has been a regular talking point, practically a piece of conventional wisdom, that confirming Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court before the midterm elections would help motivate their voters to go to the polls. Henderson said they all relate to the hearings, not to his conduct as a judge.

Jim Malone has served as VOA's National correspondent covering USA elections and politics since 1995. And with Republicans likely to hold the Senate next year, that number is only going to continue to grow. It would have taken only one Democratic senator to say "no" to letting the nominees through this week, but none did.

As a result, the court now consists of five conservatives and four liberals. "Especially not after Kavanaugh", Leah Greenberg, the co-executive director of Indivisible, a liberal advocacy group, tweeted.

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Republican senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, a vocal supporter of Mr Kavanaugh during his protracted confirmation, says they have their opponents to thank.

One Republican observer said he thought as many as 20 or 21 of the 25 Republican districts that went for Hillary Clinton a year ago could well flip to the Democrats, producing a large Democratic House wave. But even if they don't win, with a larger Democratic minority they could stand a better chance at defeating GOP priorities on health care, taxes, immigration, and border security.

Democrats counter that the Kavanaugh fallout has enraged many women voters upset with the way the Senate confirmation battle turned out, likely increasing Democratic turnout in November and threatening Republican control of the House of Representatives.

The move allows Republicans to confirm the judges, while allowing lawmakers to return to their home states ahead of elections.

Trump has a busy campaign schedule to spread the word that the allegations against Kavanaugh were a "hoax that was set up by the Democrats" at what he's called a unsafe time for men who can be falsely accused.