President Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, has been confirmed by the Senate after weeks of rancorous debate.
Senators backed Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination by 50 votes to 48.
Judge Kavanaugh, 53, had been embroiled in a bitter battle to stave off allegations of assault.
After an 11th-hour investigation by the FBI into the allegations, enough wavering senators decided to back the nomination.
Ahead of the vote, hundreds of people protesting against Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination demonstrated at the Capitol Hill.
During the vote, other protesters shouted “shame” from the public gallery and VP Mike Pence had to call for order to be restored.
Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment is for life and he will strengthen conservative control of the nine-judge court, which has the final say on US law.
President Donald Trump sent out a tweet of congratulations for the confirmation.
He also spoke to reporters aboard Air Force One, saying Brett Kavanaugh had withstood a “horrible attack by the Democrats” and that women were “outraged” at what had happened to the nominee.
Brett Kavanaugh will be sworn in later on October 6.
The upper house is split 51-49 in favor of the Republicans and the vote was largely along party lines. In the end, there was indeed a two-vote margin, the closest nomination vote since 1881.
The only party dissenters were Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski, who had intended to vote No, and Democrat Joe Manchin, who voted Yes.
That should have meant a 51-49 tally, but the absence of Republican Steve Daines, a Yes voter who was at his daughter’s wedding, altered the final figures.
Lisa Murkowski opted instead to simply mark herself as “present”, leaving the final vote 50-48.
In their final summations, the two Senate party leaders reflected how bitter the divide had become.
Minority Democrat leader Chuck Schumer said Brett Kavanaugh did not belong on the bench as he had “obscured his views to the American people”, “repeatedly misled the Senate” and delivered one of the “bitterest and most partisan testimonies ever presented by a nominee”.
Chuck Schumer also said President Trump had “stooped to new depths” in mocking the testimony of Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford.
He said that for all those who opposed the nomination, “there is one answer – vote” in the November mid-term elections.
Majority Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Brett Kavanaugh was a “serious scholar, a brilliant student of the law and a meticulous and dedicated public servant”.
Lisa Murkowski had earlier said that although Brett Kavanaugh was a “good man”, he was “not the right person for the court at this time” and his “appearance of impropriety has become unavoidable”.
Joe Manchin is facing a difficult re-election campaign in West Virginia, a traditionally Republican state that President Trump won by a landslide. He said he “found Judge Kavanaugh to be a qualified jurist”.
There were shouts of “shame” from the public gallery as he voted yes.
Two Republican waverers, Susan Collins and Jeff Flake, finally decided to back Brett Kavanaugh.