Brett Kavanaugh takes his place on bench

10 October, 2018, 02:18 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • President Donald Trump apologises to Kavanaugh for 'pain' caused during confirmation process. Image Credits ANI

US Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh sought to put a bruising confirmation battle behind him on Monday (Oct 8) at a White House ceremony in which President Donald Trump declared him innocent of sexual misconduct and apologised for the heated process.

President Trump then directly addressed Kavanaugh's daughters and reassured them their father will now serve the American people on the nation's highest court.

"On behalf of our nation, I want to apologize to Brett and the entire Kavanaugh family for the awful pain and suffering you have been forced to endure", Mr Trump said at the jurist's White House swearing-in ceremony.

Kavanaugh has cited his mother, a former state judge in Maryland, as an inspiration, and emphasised his commitment to the advancement of women.

Kavanaugh's first question was technical in nature.

Justice Kavanaugh's nomination had appeared safe until Christine Blasey Ford, a university professor in California, last month went public with allegations that the judge had sexually assaulted her in 1982 when they were high school students in Maryland.

Any technical arguments are likely to be overshadowed by Kavanaugh's first public appearance wearing the traditional black robe donned by Supreme Court justices.

The latest justice to join the bench, Neil Gorsuch, spoke a year ago during his swearing-in at the White House Rose Garden.

Challenges to the law, which enhances penalties in illegal firearms cases based on previous convictions, have returned over and over to the Supreme Court as the justices are asked which types of previous convictions should count. Justice Samuel Alito spoke at his swearing-in as well. Consistently, the most enthusiastic voters hold more-negative views of the court's newest associate justice. Kennedy was a more moderate conservative who sometimes sided with the court's four liberal justices.

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"I'm honored to serve alongside all of my new colleagues, each of whom I know, and each of whom I greatly admire and deeply respect", Kavanaugh said at the White House, noting that the "contentious and emotional" confirmation process was over.

He will take his seat on Tuesday - on the far right of the bench, next to Justice Elena Kagan - hearing immigration and other cases.

Kavanaugh's installation cements the strongest conservative majority on the court since the New Deal, delivering on a decades-long ambition of the American right.

"His confirmation is an inflection point in the history of the court; there is no pretending any more that the court is an apolitical institution", Fallon said.

Trump's first Supreme Court appointee, Neil Gorsuch, also took part in a White House oath ceremony.

And on Monday evening he was the guest of honor at a ceremonial swearing-in at the White House. The court, which started the term last week with eight justices, was back to full strength.

Kavanaugh, along with his law clerks, already has been at the Supreme Court preparing for his first day on the bench Tuesday when the justices will hear arguments in two cases about longer prison terms for repeat offenders. One of the two cases involves the detention of immigrants, an issue on which Kavanaugh's vote could be key.

The justices privately made the decision to reject the appeals by an environmental group and companies that supported the regulation before Kavanaugh's confirmation, and announced the action on Tuesday.

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