Kavanaugh asks questions in first day on bench

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Kavanaugh asks questions in first day on bench

President Donald Trump apologized to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh for "the awful pain and suffering" he and his family were "forced to endure" during his confirmation process, at a ceremonial swearing-in event at the White House on Monday evening.

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

Mr Trump said Mr Kavanaugh was "caught up in a hoax that was set up by the Democrats", as he left for a trip to Florida. 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. It comes just in time to motivate evangelicals and social conservatives to turn out to vote in November elections that will determine control of Congress.

There were no outbursts from protesters in the gallery, as there had been during his Senate confirmation hearings or Saturday's historic vote. Instead, the former D.C. Circuit judge missed the first week of arguments as the Senate considered an allegation that he had sexually assaulted a woman in high school, an allegation he adamantly denied.

Two other women also accused Justice Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct dating to the 1980s. Americans opposed his confirmation 51 percent to 41 percent, according to a CNN poll conducted October 4-7.

"The way they really tortured him and his family, I thought it was a disgrace", Trump said on Monday, US east coast time.

Other major polls reflected similar sentiment.

The scene Tuesday morning contrasted sharply with a loud demonstration on Saturday, when chanting protesters climbed the normally off-limits Supreme Court steps and plaza. "Although the Senate confirmation process tested me as it has tested others, it did not change me", Kavanaugh said. Kavanaugh replaced Kennedy on the bench.

New Justice Brett Kavanaugh says the Supreme Court "is not a partisan or political institution", and is promising to "always be a team player on a team of nine".

One recent video that has gone viral showed two young protesters dancing around a lone, elderly, pro-Kavanaugh protester silently holding up signs.

The two-vote margin of victory in the Senate made it the closest Supreme Court confirmation vote since 1881 - and by far the most contentious since Clarence Thomas in 1991.

"I think a lot of Democrats are going to vote Republican", he said in his earlier comments outside the White House.

Collins, a four-term USA senator, cast what was a crucial vote on Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court. They took their oaths at the court in ceremonies that were televised live.

After an extra Federal Bureau of Investigation probe - which media reports say was drastically curtailed by the White House - also found nothing new, Kavanaugh was finally voted into the coveted post. The president later hosted a reception at the White House for Sotomayor, as he did a year later with Kagan.

President Donald Trump listens as retired Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy swears-in Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

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