The US Senate cleared the way for confirming Donald Trump ally Brett Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court judge on Friday.
Senators voted 51 to 49 in favour of moving to the final vote, which could take place as early as tomorrow morning.
The decision came as thousands of people took place in a nationwide day of protest against Kavanaugh. Three separate women have accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault and harassment—Christine Blasey Ford, Julie Swetnick and Deborah Ramirez.
Over 300 people were arrested in Washington DC on Thursday as thousands marched through the federal capital. Some 3,000 people took to the streets of New York and walkouts took place at universities, schools and workplaces across the US.
The sexist US president—and self-confessed sexual abuser—Donald Trump disgracefully mocked Ford at a rally on Wednesday. He called into question her ability to recall the details of what had happened to her.
Republican senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee made unsubstantiated claims about Swetnick’s teenage sexual history.
It’s all part of the Republican campaign to smear the people making allegations against Kavanaugh. They are also attempting to portray the allegations as part of a coordinated attack on the judge by the Democrats.
“They destroy people, these are really evil people,” said Trump at a rally in Missouri.
Following the allegations, the FBI secret police launched a five-day investigation into the claims. The report—there is just one paper copy kept under lock and key—was delivered on Thursday. Now senators have until Saturday to read the report and make their decision.
Republican senators have claimed the report absolves Kavanaugh. The White House has backed this up.
But it’s hard to credit the report with any kind of legitimacy. Neither Kavanaugh nor Ford were interviewed as part of the investigation.
And lawyers representing Ford protested that some of the witnesses she had identified were not interviewed as part of the investigation. Ramirez submitted a list of 20 witnesses to the FBI. None were contacted.
Despite all this, Kavanaugh is increasingly likely to receive the nomination and be elevated to a lifetime position on the Supreme Court.
If Kavanaugh is confirmed to the Supreme Court it will mean anyone who has been abused will feel less confident to come forward, less likely to be believed.
It will shift the Supreme Court to the right. That means abortion rights, workers’ rights and a host of other causes will be under threat.
More protests were planned for this weekend.
They must continue if the sexist abuser in the White House and his man on the Supreme Court are to face anything amounting to real justice.