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Justice Kavanaugh makes low-key Supreme Court debut, after raucous confirmation

10 October 2018

"On behalf of our nation, I want to apologize to Brett and the entire Kavanaugh family for the bad pain you have been forced to endure", Trump said today during a ceremonial swearing-in at the White House.

House Democrats' lead in the generic congressional ballot has slightly increased in the wake of the bombshell hearing for now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, according to a newly released survey from CNN - numbers that conflict with some other recent polling and push back on the narrative that the Kavanaugh hearings were a political win for the GOP.

The women include a current clerk, Kim Jackson, who graduated from Yale in 2017; Megan Lacy, who had been part of the team working on his nomination at the White House and served previously as counsel to Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley; Shannon Grammell, who clerked for Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson on the 4th Circuit; and Sara Nommensen, who worked in the Department of Justice and is a former student of Kavanaugh's at Harvard Law School.

Trump on Twitter on Tuesday said he was "very proud" of Kavanaugh and his family, and disparaged the anti-Kavanaugh protesters. He jumped in with his first question after most of the other justices had spoken.

Hundreds of protesters had also swarmed the steps of the Supreme Court.

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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.

In 2009 when Sotomayor was sworn in, administration officials said Obama wanted to forgo a White House oath as a sign of the new justice's independence.

Trump used his introduction of Kavanaugh to slam the judge's opponents.

Kavanaugh was "caught up in a hoax that was set up by the Democrats", Trump said as he left the White House for a trip to Florida.

Trump, who drew criticism for mocking Ford at a rally, said Kavanaugh had been cleared. "Disgusting statements that were totally untrue that he knew nothing about - frankly terms that he probably never heard in his life", Trump said at the International Association of Chiefs of Police meeting.

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Kavanaugh, in turn, attacked the Dem senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee for what he called an orchestrated "hit" meant to exact revenge for the Clintons, warning the Dems on the committee "what goes around comes around". Chuck Schumer (D-NY) made a similar statement at the end of President George W. Bush's term, but just as in 1992, no Supreme Court vacancy occurred.

He thanked the Republicans who stood with Kavanaugh and said "it was a great honor to be involved in this situation".

Kavanaugh was confirmed 50-48 Saturday, the closest vote to confirm a justice since 1881, and has had a busy three days since then.

Kavanaugh thanked some of the senators key to his confirmation, including Maine Republican Susan Collins and West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin, who sealed the bare majority needed to confirm him.

President Trump has praised his US Supreme Court pick. Kavanaugh, in contrast, is expected to be a more decidedly conservative vote, tilting the court right for decades and leaving Roberts as the justice closest to the ideological middle.

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"These things always blow over", Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R- Ky., said in a news conference shortly after Kavanaugh won confirmation.

Justice Kavanaugh makes low-key Supreme Court debut, after raucous confirmation