Brett Kavanaugh swearing in ceremony

Brett Kavanaugh swearing in ceremony

Brett Kavanaugh swearing in ceremony

The return to judicial matters comes after weeks of heated debate over his confirmation in the wake of an allegation from California professor Christine Blasey Ford that he sexually assaulted her when they were high schoolers in suburban Maryland decades ago.

The nomination went forward, and Kavanaugh was confirmed in a slim 50-48 vote on Saturday. With Kavanaugh now on the court, this could very well get worse.

Minutes earlier, Trump alluded to the fierce Democratic Party opposition to the federal circuit court judge he had nominated to the bench who was accused of sexual misconduct in his youth.

"On behalf of our nation, I would like to apologize to Brett and his family for the awful pain and suffering that you have been forced to endure", Trump, standing in the East Room of the White House, said in the televised event.

Justice Kavanaugh was joined at the ceremony by his wife and two daughters.

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He then announced, "You sir, under historic scrutiny, were proven innocent" before giving the new justice a handshake.

U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justices, from left, Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer watch from the front row as Brett Kavanaugh takes his ceremonial oath of office while participating in a ceremonial public swearing-in in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Oct. 8, 2018.

Justice Kavanaugh will be closely scrutinised from his first day on the bench.

The President put on a big show at the White House tonight to swear Judge Kavanaugh in for a second time, two days after his actual swearing in. He had already hired four law clerks, all women. And pundits presumed POTUS meant to take a victory lap after his nominee got the Senate's stamp of approval by a slim 50-48 margin following a very divisive confirmation battle, in which Kavanaugh faced multiple sexual misconduct allegations, but especially that he had sexually assaulted Ford when he was in high school.

As he left the White House for an event in Florida on Monday, Mr Trump said: "So I've been hearing that now they're thinking about impeaching a brilliant jurist".

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"The reality is, right now, Republicans control the House and the Senate, and there's no way to do even an investigation unless we flip one of the houses", replied Booker, a Democrat seen as a potential presidential candidate in 2020.

All eight Supreme Court justices attended the reception, along with the Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Senator Chris Coons of DE called impeachment talk "premature", while House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said it "would not be my plan" to impeach the justice. The president's rendering of a verdict on the sexual assault allegations risks further antagonising political opponents at a moment that the "Me Too" movement demands accountability for sexual misconduct.

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

But after being sworn in, Kavanaugh struck a markedly more conciliatory tone.

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