His promotion to the Supreme Court also stands as a demoralising defeat for Democrats who had battled hard to block the 53-year-old judge at all costs.
Republicans hold only a 51-49 Senate majority and therefore had little support to spare.
In the end, there was a two-vote margin.
The outcome, telegraphed Friday when the final undeclared senators revealed their views, was devoid of the shocks that had come nearly daily since Christine Blasey Ford said last month that an inebriated Kavanaugh tried to rape her at a 1982 high school get-together.
Republican Sen. Susan Collins of ME isn't up for re-election until 2020, but critics vowed Saturday she'll pay a political price for voting for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Melania (meh-LAH'-nee-ah) Trump is offering some supportive words for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
At the request of Democrats and a Republican senator the Federal Bureau of Investigation was called in to look into the allegations - but was unable to corroborate their stories. Republicans called it "very thorough", while Democrats said the report "looks to be a product of an incomplete investigation". And they said Kavanaugh's record and fuming testimony at a now-famous Senate Judiciary Committee hearing showed he lacked the fairness, temperament and even honesty to become a justice. These things are of such high priority to them, that they're willing to ram through a person who has been credibly accused of multiple instances of sexual assault, simply because he'll vote their way on the bench.
Democratic candidate for governor Rich Cordray said: "Today's vote was disheartening for so many of us - women and men alike - who are deeply troubled by the allegations made against Judge Kavanaugh, the partisan rancor we see in Washington, and the direction of the U.S. Supreme Court".
Some 164 people were arrested, most for demonstrating on the Capitol steps, 14 for disrupting the Senate's roll call vote.
The crowds outside the court have been chanting "Vote them out!"
The Senate vote takes the highest U.S. court down a more conservative path for perhaps a generation and is a bitter blow to Democrats already chafing at Republican control of the White House and both chambers of the U.S. Congress.
Democrats don't seem to have the votes to keep Brett Kavanaugh from joining the Supreme Court, but that's not stopping them from taking to the Senate floor in a parade of speeches into the early morning against the conservative jurist. "And my heart goes out to anyone who has experienced any type of sexual assault in their life". "I'm glad that Dr. Ford was heard; I'm glad that Judge Kavanaugh was heard".
"I hope people vote", Frank said.
Kavanaugh's Senate confirmation was proceeding smoothly until multiple sexual assault allegations surfaced against the backdrop of the #MeToo movement.