International desk, September 28: Republicans are pushing to vote on President Donald Trump’s nominee for the US Supreme Court on Friday, after hearing dramatic testimony from him and a woman accusing him of sexual assault.
Brett Kavanaugh emphatically denied all allegations against him and vowed he would never give up.
Earlier, Christine Blasey Ford said an assault by Mr Kavanaugh 36 years ago had “drastically” affected her life.
Mr Trump said Mr Kavanaugh was “honest” and called for a Senate vote.
The president accused Democratic senators of a “search and destroy strategy”, while Mr Kavanaugh accused them of destroying his family and good name for political reasons.
Thursday’s hearing, which lasted for nine hours, brought an outpouring of support for Dr Ford – a university professor – from the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and assault.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to go ahead with a previously scheduled vote on Friday, though there is doubt whether Republicans have the votes in the full Senate to see the conservative nominee confirmed into the US’s highest court. The full Senate vote would not take place before the middle of next week.
The Supreme Court plays a vital role in US political life – appointed for life, its nine members have the final say on US law.
This includes highly contentious social issues, such as abortion, and challenges to government policy.
Prior to Thursday, no-one had heard from 51-year-old Dr Ford publicly since the allegations arose.
After addresses by the leading Republican and Democrat senators, Dr Ford delivered her statement, at times close to tears.
“I am here today not because I want to be,” she said. “I am terrified. I am here because I believe it is my civic duty to tell you what happened to me while Brett Kavanaugh and I were in high school.”
The 53-year-old federal judge took a combative approach but occasionally became emotional.
“This confirmation process has become a national disgrace,” he told the committee.
“The constitution gives the Senate an important role in the confirmation process, but you have replaced advice and consent with search and destroy.
“Since my nomination in July there has been a frenzy on the left to come up with something, anything to block my confirmation.”
Source: News Agencies