Trump decries calls to impeach Kavanaugh as an ‘insult to American public’

Sergio Conner
October 9, 2018

US Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh has been sworn in, again, at an event at the White House but not before President Donald Trump slammed the judge's opponents for a "campaign of personal destruction". Kavanaugh is accompanied by his wife Ashley Kavanaugh, third from left, and children Margaret, second from left, and Liza.

Trump apologized to the Kavanaugh family on Monday night for the Democrat-led smear of their reputation and the ugly confirmation process. "[In] our country, a man or woman must always be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty", said Trump.

Kavanaugh and his team are settling into the former chambers of Justice Samuel Alito, who moved to the offices vacated by retired Justice Anthony Kennedy. But critics said Kavanaugh's demeanor before the Senate Judiciary Committee raised questions about his temperament and potential political bias in deciding cases.

Kavanaugh's first question was technical in nature.

The high court is hearing two hours of arguments Tuesday beginning at 10 a.m.

Kavanaugh's confirmation gave the Republican president a major political victory ahead of crucial November 6 congressional elections, with Trump's second selection for the nation's highest judicial body.

Then came bombshell testimony from university research psychologist Christine Blasey Ford that Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her at a party when they were in school.

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Almost 30 minutes into the one-hour argument, Justice Kavanaugh posed two questions to the attorney representing Denard Stokeling, the man who was convicted in 1997 of three felonies, one being unarmed robbery.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh, fresh off a confirmation process that featured one of the most polarizing and politicized hearings in modern times, will take the bench on Tuesday for the start of a new era that is expected to take the court decidedly to the right.

With police standing by, a handful of protesters opposed to Justice Kavanaugh gathered outside the Supreme Court building on Tuesday morning, holding signs saying "Shame" and "He sits on a throne of lies", while chanting, "This isn't over, we're still here". Kavanaugh had clerked for the justice in 1993-94 and was sworn in by him in separate oath ceremonies.

The climactic 50-48 roll call vote Saturday on Kavanaugh was the closest vote to confirm a justice since 1881. That shift delights judicial conservative who believe the confirmation will be one of Trump's most lasting legacies.

All eight of the Supreme Court's other justices attended the White House ceremony, a show of collegiality by members of an ideologically divided court. The FBI probe into the allegations against Kavanaugh reportedly found no corroboration of the allegations against him but was criticized by Democrats for not being a full investigation. After weeks of being painted as an existential threat to women's rights and, indeed, a serial predator, the newly-minuted justice made history by bringing on SCOTUS' first ever all-female slate of law clerks.

Kavanaugh officially took up his new role on Saturday, following a private swearing in ceremony.

Part of the duties of the junior justice include taking notes at the weekly closed-door conferences, where current appeals are voted on and pending cases are added to the docket.

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