WASHINGTON (News4Utah) – New Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh returned to the White House for a televised appearance Monday with President Donald Trump.
Kavanaugh took part in an entirely ceremonial swearing-in two days after he officially became a member of the high court and following a bitter partisan fight over his nomination. The event is unusual for new justices.
Only Samuel Alito and Stephen Breyer participated in a White House event after they had been sworn-in and begun work as a justice, according to the court’s records on oath-taking by the current crop of justices.
Kavanaugh 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. The new justice’s four clerks all are women, the first time that has happened.
In his Senate testimony last month in which he denied allegations that he sexually assaulted a woman in high school, accusing Democrats of orchestrating a partisan campaign against him, Kavanaugh had promised that, if he was confirmed, the four clerks working for him would be women. “I’ll be the first justice in the history of the Supreme Court to have a group of all-women law clerks. That is who I am.”
The climactic 50-48 roll call vote Saturday on Kavanaugh was the closest vote to confirm a justice since 1881. It capped a fight that seized the national conversation after claims emerged that Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted women three decades ago. Kavanaugh emphatically denied the allegations.
Kavanaugh described the confirmation process as “contentious and emotional” but says he has “no bitterness.”
About hundred people gathered outside the Federal Building in downtown Salt Lake City to protest Kavanaugh’s confirmation.