Court mood is jovial as Kavanaugh takes his place on bench

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Court mood is jovial as Kavanaugh takes his place on bench

At a White House swearing-in ceremony, Trump stood next to Justice Brett Kavanaugh and said he'd been "proven innocent" of the sexual assault allegations that threatened to derail him in a Senate confirmation process revealing the depth of the left-right split tearing through American politics.

United States President Donald Trump said on Monday that he was apologising on behalf of the whole country to his new conservative Supreme Court justice after one of the most contentious confirmation processes in USA history.

"I will always be a team player in a team of nine", Kavanaugh pledged.

The new justice's wife and two daughters were in seats reserved for justices' guests, along with retired Justice Anthony Kennedy.

The president also told reporters on Monday morning that he thinks many Democrats will vote Republican in next month's midterm elections because they are angry about Kavanaugh's treatment. Only one Democrat voted for Trump's nominee.

Brett Kavanaugh is about to hear his first arguments as a Supreme Court justice. Then came bombshell testimony from university research psychologist Christine Blasey Ford that Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her at a party when they were in school.

Trump and his fellow Republicans are hoping the confirmation of the 53-year-old conservative jurist will energize their supporters in the midterm voting when political control of Congress is at stake.

Mr. Trump has continued to laud Kavanaugh's character and intellect, following allegations of sexual misconduct that roiled Kavanaugh's confirmation process for weeks. "I think you're going to see a lot of things happening on November 6".

Only one US supreme court justice has ever been impeached - Samuel Chase, in 1804, who was acquitted by the Senate.

Other prominent Democrats indicate they have no immediate intention of pursuing an impeachment of Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh is expected to begin his tenure by hearing two cases dealing with matters of robbery and burglary.

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.

Kavanaugh's confirmation gave Republican President Donald Trump a major victory, with his second lifetime appointee to the nation's highest judicial body.

Independent court analysts, however, predict Kavanaugh is likely to concur with more conservative interpretations of the law, given a solid 5-4 ideological edge on the court to those who lean to the right.

All eight of the Supreme Court's other justices attended the White House ceremony, a show of collegiality by members of an ideologically divided court.

Democrat Jerrold Nadler, who is in line to chair the House Judiciary Committee if his party wins a majority in the mid-terms, said that he would be prepared to open an investigation into the top judge.

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