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Protesters against US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh demonstrate at the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on October 6, 2018. - The US Senate is expected to confirm conservative judge Kavanaugh as the next Supreme Court justice on October 6, offering US President Donald Trump a big political win and tilting the nation's high court decidedly to the right. (Photo by Jose Luis Magana / AFP)JOSE LUIS MAGANA/AFP/Getty ImagesJOSE LUIS MAGANA/AFP/Getty Images

The epic U.S. Supreme Court drama is over. White males celebrate. The country is yet more inflamed. Democrats are more downcast than at any time since the Hillary Clinton debacle. And after only 20 months in office, Donald Trump has already put a big legacy stamp on his presidency.

The impact of Brett Kavanaugh’s ascension to the Supreme Court following sexual-assault allegations is hard to overstate. On top of Mr. Trump’s appointment of Neil Gorsuch, conservatives are ensconced with a majority for a generation or more.

For women’s rights, it’s shades of 1991; the confirmation of Clarence Thomas following sexual harassment charges by Anita Hill. This time, a President who himself stands accused of sexual abuse by many women, had the shamelessness and gall to mock the accuser, Christine Blasey Ford. It worked, one reason being that Democrats have inexplicably given him a pass on his sordid track record toward women.

The Kavanaugh decision drives another wedge through the unity of a country already politically tribalized. Mr. Trump doesn’t mind. He was elected to confront and attack the nation’s norms. Disunity, dishonesty, and disorder are a path to power. A moral commonwealth was hardly his intent. He isn't Jimmy Carter.

The obvious loser in the nomination fight is the image of the court itself, its integrity, its legitimacy. It is now seen as being almost as politicized as the rest of Washington. Mr. Kavanaugh also had to survive allegations that he lied under oath to the Senate Judiciary Committee as well as charges from thousands of law professors that he is temperamentally unfit to serve on the court. There may yet be more on this. Democrats are saying they will open an investigation into the accusations against him if they win control of the House of Representatives in November.

The Democrats’ hope now is that their base will be sufficiently enraged to get out and vote in the midterms. President Trump was already trailing badly among women voters. He stands to lose even more support from them.

In the court battle it was a vote by a woman that turned the tide. Senator Susan Collins of Maine emerged as the Republican hero. In announcing her vote she gave a stirring 44-minute speech which ransacked the Democrats’ case against Mr. Kavanaugh piece by piece.

Drawing on the Kavanaugh case history as a Court of Appeals judge she ably refuted the contentions that he will seek to limit women’s rights to abortion, that he was out to end Obamacare, that he stood for the carte blanche exercise of executive power, and that having worked for president George W. Bush he would act on the bench as a crass political operative.

She did not address the sexual aggression charge of another accuser, Deborah Ramirez or charges by several Yale schoolmates that Mr. Kavanaugh misled the Senate about the extent of his drinking problem. While Senator Collins and other Republicans found the testimony of accuser Prof. Blasey Ford compelling, they effectively used an FBI report to argue that there was no corroboration for her story and that therefore the sacrosanct principle of presumption of innocence must apply.

The Democrats’ decision to demand the FBI report backfired. Under White House direction, the bureau interviewed only nine witnesses as opposed to the 24 suggested by the Democrats. They didn’t interview friends of Ms. Ramirez to seek corroboration for her charge, nor Mr. Kavanaugh’s Yale friends.

Said Democratic Senator Chris Coons, “You can’t find what you don’t look for.”

For Mr. Trump, the Kavanaugh verdict in combination with his new continental trade deal and the arrival of more economic good news gave him arguably his best week as President to date.

As with the case of Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill, the Kavanaugh fight came down to a he said, she said donnybrook. No corroboration for either’s story could be found, though the Ramirez charge fueled suspicion about Mr. Kavanaugh. As for Prof. Blasey Ford, the alleged incident happened so long ago there were grounds for suspicion that she had a memory lapse.

Given the visceral right-left divide in the United States, no positive outcome was possible from this wrenching confrontation. Common ground is a lost commodity in this country. The court verdict is a harbinger of more havoc.

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