50-48

Brett Kavanaugh is the 114th US Supreme Court justice

Lisa Murkowski was the only Republican senator to vote against the confirmation.
Lisa Murkowski was the only Republican senator to vote against the confirmation.
Image: AP Photo/Alex Brandon
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The US Senate today (Oct. 6) confirmed Brett Kavanaugh as the 114th justice of the Supreme Court, with 50 Yea and 48 Nay—the smallest margin since 1881 (paywall). The confirmation ends a hearing process that involved several women accusing the nominee of sexual misbehavior (including Christine Blasey Ford, who testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee), a limited FBI investigation into Ford’s allegations, an angry testimony by Kavanaugh, and several people raising concerns about the character and drinking habits of a man who will, in a few days, begin playing a pivotal role on the highest court in the US.

In the end, only one Republican senator voted differently from the party line: Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who had previously voted against ending the debate. Yet her vote today didn’t get recorded as a “no.” She instead voted “present,” pairing her vote with senator Steve Daines of Montana, who was attending his daughter’s wedding. Though an old and rare practice, senators are allowed to pair their votes when they go in opposite directions (in this case, Murkowski’s “Nay” and Daines’s “Yea”) if one is not able to attend the vote, as the two votes strike each other out.

Murkowski said she agreed to vote present as a courtesy to her colleague who was otherwise ready to leave his daughter’s wedding to cast his vote.

On the Democrats’ side, Joe Manchin of West Virginia also went against the party line, voting in favor of the confirmation. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Angus King of Maine, both independent, voted “nay.”

This is how each senator voted, sorted alphabetically by state. Bolded are the seats to be contested in the upcoming election on Nov. 6.

Yea: 50

Nay: 48

Present: 1

Absent: 1