Kagan Says Loss of Centrist Could Harm Perception of High Court

Geneva Stokes
October 7, 2018

Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens blasted nominee Brett Kavanaugh at a private event in Florida on Thursday - saying "his performance in the hearings" should disqualify him.

Updated: Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has written a Wall Street Journal op-ed acknowledging his emotional Senate Judiciary Committee testimony and pledging to keep an open mind if he is confirmed.

'It is the nation's confidence in the judge as impartial guardian of the rule of law'.

"I think that that, institutionally, has hurt the court a lot and may continue to do so, ' Sotomayor, who was appointed by Barack Obama in 2009 said about the legal theories Democrats and Republicans have 'superimposed on the court".

Two Associate Supreme Court Justices are anxious for the future of the highest court in the federal judiciary after Justice Anthony Kennedy leaves.

The Senate advanced Kavanaugh's nomination on Friday, setting up a final vote expected on Saturday.

Kavanaugh and California professor Christine Blasey Ford testified in front of the Judiciary Committee on September 27 after Ford came forward with an allegation of sexual assault against the judge.

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He said the investigation was thorough, and for the witnesses interviewed "it's a cross between an endoscopy and a colonoscopy". White House spokesman Raj Shah said the Trump administration was "fully confident" Mr Kavanaugh had the necessary support.

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Kavanaugh angrily denied the charges hours later and accused Democrats of orchestrating a "political hit" against him. Because of procedural steps, a final confirmation vote was unlikely until late in the week, perhaps over the weekend.

Stevens acknowledged praising Kavanaugh and one of his rulings on foreign campaign contributions in his 2014 book "Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution". Wrapping up, Stevens says that Senators need to be aware of Kavanaugh's partisan attitudes and that it would be unhealthy to bring on a judge that would "only do a part-time job".

President Donald Trump's fellow Republicans gained confidence on Thursday that his nominee Kavanaugh would win Senate confirmation after two wavering lawmakers responded positively to an Federal Bureau of Investigation report on accusations of sexual misconduct against the judge.

Stevens served on the court for 35 years and retired in 2010 after having been nominated by former president Gerald Ford.

"I've changed my views for reasons that have really no relationship to his intellectual ability or his record as a federal judge", Stevens said.

Since his retirement, Stevens has penned a handful of opinion pieces for the New York Times calling for dramatic liberal reform.

Kavanaugh had spent more than three years working for Ken Starr, the independent counsel who investigated Democratic President Bill Clinton in the 1990s.

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