Published: Wed, October 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Trump claims Kavanaugh 'proven innocent' of sexual assault allegations

Trump claims Kavanaugh 'proven innocent' of sexual assault allegations

Newly sworn-in Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Brett Kavanaugh (right) speaks before wife Ashley Estes Kavanaugh (2nd right), daughters Margaret and Elizabeth, and President Donald Trump on Monday in the East Room of the White House.

Kavanaugh's critics, unhappy with the Senate process, Kavanaugh's record and the way sexual assault allegations were handled, still plan to continue their protests against him.

A Supreme Court with a new conservative majority takes the bench as Brett Kavanaugh, narrowly confirmed after a bitter Senate battle, joins his new colleagues to hear his first arguments as a justice.

Trump apologized to Kavanaugh and his family for "the bad suffering you have been forced to endure".

The president said Kavanaugh overcame intense scrutiny by Democrats who considered him guilty and didn't want to give him due process.

Kavanaugh's predecessor, Justice Anthony Kennedy, who retired in June, was a more moderate conservative and sometimes sided with the court's four liberal justices.

The tenure of Justice Brett Kavanaugh is officially underway as of today, and a number of his allies are noting that's he's already making a mark on the professional culture of the high court.

Justice Kavanaugh also faces more than a dozen judicial misconduct complaints over his public statements as a nominee to the Supreme Court.

Referring to a 2010 decision known as Curtis Johnson, Kavanaugh asked Justice Department lawyer Frederick Liu what the court should do "if we're trying to follow Curtis Johnson strictly?"

With police standing by, a handful of protesters gathered outside the Supreme Court building, holding signs saying "Shame" and "He sits on a throne of lies", while chanting, "This isn't over, we're still here".

One of the women accusing the judge, Prof Christine Blasey Ford, said Mr Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a house party in 1982 when they were high school students.

After an extra Federal Bureau of Investigation probe - which media reports say was drastically curtailed by the White House - also found nothing new, Kavanaugh was finally voted into the coveted post. "It is not a partisan or political institution", Kavanaugh said.

He called the Kavanaugh row "a disgraceful situation brought about by people who are evil", and said that the result was "very exciting".

Ultimately, every Democrat voted against Mr Kavanaugh except for Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia. "We wish you a long and happy career in our common calling".

The two-vote margin of victory in the Senate made it the closest Supreme Court confirmation vote since 1881 - and by far the most contentious since Clarence Thomas in 1991.

Republicans argue that the controversy over Kavanaugh has engaged conservative voters who otherwise have been apathetic to the midterm elections. The court's two oldest justices are Democratic appointees: Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 85 and Stephen Breyer is 80.

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