Kavanaugh is replacing Kennedy on the bench and once served as his law clerk. It ensures that Trump's influence, and that of a Republican stranglehold on power in Washington since the 2016 election, will endure long after current GOP leaders have left the scene.
Leahy, a former Judiciary Committee chairman, remains bitter at McConnell for declaring, within hours of Justice Antonin Scalia's death in February 2016, that he would not allow any Supreme Court nominee of President Barack Obama's to receive a hearing because it was Obama's past year in office.
Accusations against Kavanaugh energized the #MeToo social media movement that emerged after high-profile accusations of sexual assault and harassment by men in politics, the media and the entertainment industry.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called the nomination "one of the saddest moments in the history of the Senate", and said, "this chapter will be a flashing red warning light of what to avoid".
Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court by a razor-thin margin Saturday afternoon, securing 50 votes in the Senate.
In the hours before the vote, police arrested demonstrators who had broken through barriers around the Capitol and tried to climb the building's steps.
The monthslong battle over the nomination has roiled American passions - the vote was disrupted on several occasions by angry protests in the gallery - but handed Trump one of the biggest victories of his presidency.
'Let's keep this horny male energy going to the midterms, ' the Graham character declares.
Beyond the sexual misconduct allegations, Democrats raised questions about Mr. Kavanaugh's temperament and impartiality after he delivered defiant, emotional, testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee where he denounced their party.
Immediately after Collins' speech, Manchin of West Virginia issued a statement declaring his support.
It was not clear that Kavanaugh would have the votes for confirmation until Collins said in a Senate floor speech that she would support his nomination.
Kavanaugh's confirmation comes a little less than three weeks after Christine Blasey Ford publicly accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in the 1980s. The Maine lawmaker on the Senate floor Friday announced that she would be supporting Kavanaugh's confirmation.
Republican Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, a fellow moderate and a friend of Collins, became the only Republican to say she opposed Kavanaugh.
The brutal hearing sparked a supplemental Federal Bureau of Investigation dive into Kavanaugh's background and a weeklong delay of the Senate vote. He flashed two thumbs up when the final vote was declared and aides on board applauded.
Senators on both sides know they have work to do to put the chamber back together again after a ferocious debate that saw them arguing over the sordid details of high school drinking games, sexual allegations and cryptic yearbook entries.
Republicans, with the exception of Sen.
The psychology professor at Palo Alto University has also said she was scared Kavanaugh would accidentally kill her during and that she believed he planned to rape her.
Daines "is walking his daughter down the aisle this afternoon". The disruptions continued periodically throughout the roll call. "Vote them out!" and carried signs including, "I am a survivor, not a troublemaker!". Support from Collins and Manchin would give Kavanaugh at least 51 votes, assuming no one else changes their stance. "I therefore withdraw my vote".
"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.