Kavanaugh Saga's Potential Lasting Impact On The Nation

With one floor speech, Sen. Susan Collins decided the fate of a question consuming Capitol Hill, Washington and the country for the past three weeks — and barely 24 hours later, that question's answer was cemented when the Senate voted 50-48 to confirm Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court. 

Kavanaugh's confirmation process roiled the country and at times evoked the worst in partisanship and human nature. As Republican Sen. Jeff Flake put it as he called for the FBI review into sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh, "This country is being ripped apart here." 

But the turmoil wrought by the process, and the impact it has on Kavanaugh's reputation on the court, could endure. 

Republicans hope the battle to confirm Kavanaugh will energize their base for the midterm elections. 

Democrats were already fired up before the Kavanaugh confirmation process — "They're already jacked up to 10, it's personal for them," GOP strategist Ford O'Connell said. But the outrage over Kavanaugh has emboldened "complacent" Republicans, O'Connell said. 

Read more from Kathryn Watson at CBS News

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