"These are highly principled people", Verrilli says, "and Roe is incompatible with their most deeply held views about how you ought to understand and interpret the Constitution".
It was the closest roll call to confirm a justice since 1881, when Stanley Matthews was approved by 24-23, according to Senate records.
Unpopular overall and a factor for the midterms: Even before the sexual misconduct allegations against him, Kavanaugh had been polling as one of the least popular Supreme Court nominees in recent times However, a recent NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll found that amid the Kavanaugh controversy, the gap in the enthusiasm between Republicans and Democrats for the midterms has closed. It's also given new definition to the high stakes of November's election. "It has been made worst by what has happened to Judge Kavanaugh".
In the end, the Senate delivered on the country's divisions nearly as cleanly as possible, with only a single Democrat and a single Republican voting with colleagues on the other side of the aisle. "Big day for America!" he tweeted. "The democrats have become too extreme and too unsafe to govern", Trump said. "Truly, Judge Kavanaugh's confirmation is a low moment for the Senate, for the court, for the country".
But the fight was defined by the sexual assault accusations. It was a double-edged sword: the more the Left tried to destroy Kavanaugh, the more jacked up the GOP base became.
Hours before the vote, more than 1,000 protesters, mostly women, broke through barricades and staged a raucous sit-in protest on the US Capitol steps, just feet away from the imposing doors to the Rotunda.
"Kavanaugh's confirmation is devastating as unresolved questions remain about his human rights record, including in relation to the US government's use of torture and other forms of ill treatment, such as during the Central Intelligence Agency detention program", Daphne Eviatar, Amnesty International USA's director of security with human rights, said in a statement. Hundreds of other demonstrators watched from behind barricades.
Speaking in New York during The New Yorker Festival, Rice said Collins "put party and politics over her own stated principles" of supporting equal rights and legalized abortion.
Walking a fine line, some conceded that they believed Ford was telling the truth that she was attacked at the party, but did not think the attacker was Kavanaugh.
Trump told reporters he was "100 percent" certain Ford named the wrong person and credited his decision to attack the California professor in a speech last week as a turning point for the nomination battle.
But McConnell told CBS's "Face the Nation" that Murkowski, who isn't up for re-election until 2022, remained "a Republican member of our conference in good standing". She added that she is glad that the Senate voted, keeping her answers very general.
Adding to the drama, women protesters in the Senate gallery shouting, "Shame on you", briefly interrupted the start of the final confirmation vote on Saturday afternoon.
Manchin expressed empathy for sexual assault victims.
With next month's crucial mid-term elections on the horizon, analysts will be looking to see whether it influences the vote. Susan Collins (R-ME) for her doubting of the woman who raised sexual assault accusations against him.
Kavanaugh staunchly denied the allegations, but almost all Senate Democrats voted against his confirmation. Trump and other Republicans said their base is more motivated than it was earlier in the year, and that will help them keep the House and Senate.
Every Democrat voted against the Trump appointee, except for Sen.
Expected to cement a conservative majority: Kavanaugh replaces retired Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was a swing justice because he voted with the four liberal justices in cases on some hot-button issues including affirmative action and gay rights.