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 previous year in office.
During the final moments before the vote, Senate Democratic Party leader Chuck Schumer said: "To Americans, to so many millions who are outraged by what happened here, there's one answer: Vote" in November.
Expected to cement a conservative majority: Kavanaugh replaces retired Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was a swing justice because he voted with the four liberal justices in cases on some hot-button issues including affirmative action and gay rights.
"It unleashed something inside me".
At a political rally in Mississippi Tuesday night, Trump mimicked Ford's responses during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last week.
A separate, public swearing-in ceremony is planned for 7:00 pm (2300 GMT) Monday in the White House's East Room.
In a symbol of the deep division over Kavanaugh's nomination, Collins' closest colleague and the only other remaining Republican centrist in the Senate, Lisa Murkowski, bucked her party and voted against the nominee on Friday.
The vote to elect him to the highest court in the USA was delayed by a week when the Federal Bureau of Investigation was asked to investigate the claims against him.
A much larger crowd of protesters is watching the demonstration from behind a barricade.
The vote gave Trump his second appointee to the court, tilting it further to the right and pleasing conservative voters who might have revolted against GOP leaders had Kavanaugh's nomination flopped. Joe Manchin of West Virginia was the only Democrat to vote in favor of confirmation.
Demonstrators protest against Kavanaugh in front of the Supreme Court. He later telephoned his congratulations to the new justice, then at the rally returned to his own attack on the Democrats as "an angry left-wing mob". They are also a reflection of how divided we have become as a nation.
These included the emergence of two other accusers; an unforgettable Senate Judiciary Committee hearing at which a composed Ford and a seething Kavanaugh told their diametrically opposed stories, and a truncated FBI investigation that the agency said showed no corroborating evidence and Democrats lambasted as a White House-shackled farce.
In terms of protocol, Kavanaugh will take over as doorkeeper during the justices' conferences, sessions so private that even secretaries and law clerks are barred.
Despite weeks of pointed and tempestuous questioning by senators, Brett Kavanaugh, a 53-year-old Yale graduate, who rose to prominence as a member of Ken Starr's legal team, which led the campaign to impeach Bill Clinton two decades ago, appeared set for a relatively straightforward confirmation. Earlier in the day, Cornyn told a group of reporters that this has "not been the Senate's finest hour", and said that "a better path forward" is needed.
But McConnell did have a Plan B in mind to quickly pivot to a new nominee if there wasn't enough support in the Senate for Kavanaugh.
The choice of Kavanaugh to replace retired justice Anthony Kennedy was controversial from the start - but the initial focus was exclusively on the conservative views held by the married father of two.
But her compelling testimony last month became a touchstone for assault victims.
Protesters occupy the Hart Senate Office Building during a rally against Kavanaugh in Washington.
There were shouts of "shame" from the public gallery as he voted yes. "Praying for them, praying for us and praying for the country".