Court mood is jovial as Kavanaugh takes his place on bench

Court mood is jovial as Kavanaugh takes his place on bench

Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony at the White House, United States President Donald Trump on Monday apologised to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh for the "terrible pain and suffering" that Kavanaugh and his family were subjected to because of the sexual assault allegations.

The emergence of a crowded field in a Senate race two years away, including former President Barack Obama's national security adviser Susan Rice, emphasizes the powerful political moment triggered by the debate over Kavanaugh's confirmation.

The accusation by Ford delayed the vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation, putting it in doubt as the psychology professor testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, followed by the judge's emphatic denial and impassioned rebuttal. With police standing by, a small group of protesters gathered outside the courthouse, holding signs saying "Shame" and "He sits on a throne of lies".

U.S. President Donald Trump uses the bitter Senate confirmation battle for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh to try to boost Republican voter enthusiasm and prevent a Democratic takeover of Congress in the November 6 elections.

Some analysts said the court's reputation could suffer as it becomes perceived as a political, rather than a legal, institution.

Kavanaugh was sworn in Saturday evening after the Senate narrowly confirmed him, 50-48, with only one Democrat voting yes.

At a White House ceremony on Monday night, Kavanaugh said he was starting his new job without bitterness.

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At the time, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the American people should have a say in the direction of the court, meaning no judge should be confirmed until a new president is elected. 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. As per Ford's allegations, Kavanaugh had sexually harassed her at a party in 1982 during their high school days. Justice Sonia Sotomayor even appeared to playfully pinch Gorsuch's arm as she asked a question about the kind of physical force necessary to have a crime be treated as violent under a federal enhanced sentencing law.

Since justices serve lifetime appointments, the political consequences are likely to last long beyond Trump's administration.

As Gorsuch did in his first arguments previous year, Kavanaugh focused heavily on the importance of following earlier decisions of the court.

Mr Kavanaugh denied the allegations and during a Senate hearing on September 27 accused Democrats of an "orchestrated political hit". Kavanaugh emphatically denied the allegations.

"I think a lot of Democrats are going to vote Republican", Trump added. He ended up asking questions of lawyers on both sides during two cases argued before the justices.

Even before the allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced, some Democrats questioned Kavanaugh's truthfulness during his initial Senate confirmation hearing.

Seated on the far right end of the bench, Kavanaugh listened alongside his eight colleagues to Stokeling v.

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