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Kavanaugh to hear his 1st oral arguments as Supreme Court justice

Kavanaugh to hear his 1st oral arguments as Supreme Court justice

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.

The bitterly divided U.S. Senate voted 50-48 on Saturday to confirm Kavanaugh, with just one Democrat supporting him.

"We will not forget!" the group shouted - a reference to the accusations of sexual assault that threatened to derail Kavanaugh's nomination, allegations that the 53-year-old strongly denied.

While President Trump railed against Democrats and apologized to Kavanaugh "on behalf of our nation" during that ceremony, the new justice seemed to be trying to bring the temperature down after his narrow confirmation.

PHOTO: Retired Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, right, administers the Judicial Oath to Judge Brett Kavanaugh in the Justices' Conference Room of the Supreme Court Building, Oct. 6, 2018.

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

And he said that "under historic scrutiny", Kavanaugh was "proven innocent".

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Kavanaugh joins the Supreme Court today after he was sworn in at a private ceremony on Saturday and a public ceremony on Monday, report the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post in stories here and here.

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.

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?" Every sitting member of the Supreme Court was present at the ceremony.

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. Two other women also accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct dating to the 1980s.

He also thanked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Chuck Grassley for their unwavering support and strong leadership during the confirmation process.

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. "It is not a partisan or political institution", Kavanaugh said.

"I take this office with gratitude and no bitterness". "We wish you a long and happy career in our common calling". There are 100 Senators, two from each state, and Republicans now hold a razor thin majority with 51 seats.


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