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Trump Kavanaugh: President apologises for 'unfair' treatment

10 October 2018
Trump Kavanaugh: President apologises for 'unfair' treatment

WASHINGTON, D.C. President Donald Trump apologized to Brett Kavanaugh for the bitter battle over his confirmation to the Supreme Court and declared him "innocent" of the sexual assault allegations that almost derailed his nomination.

The US Senate voted 50-48 on Saturday to confirm him, with just one Democrat supporting him.

Mr Kavanaugh denied the allegations and during a Senate hearing on September 27 accused Democrats of an "orchestrated political hit".

On Monday evening, Mr Trump will host another swearing-in ceremony for him at the White House.

Trump used his introduction of Kavanaugh to slam the judge's opponents.

"On behalf of our nation, I want to apologize to Brett and the entire Kavanaugh family for the awful pain and suffering you have been forced to endure", he said at the ceremony in the ornate White House East Room.

The other eight justices were all in attendance for Monday's swearing-in, which was entirely ceremonial.

Brett Kavanaugh endured a Supreme Court confirmation ordeal like no other.

Before hearing arguments on Tuesday, the justices turned aside appeals of a 2017 ruling authored by Mr Kavanaugh on the lower court that struck down a 2015 environmental rule imposed under former President Barack Obama regulating a potent greenhouse gas linked to climate change.

Referring to a 2010 decision known as Curtis Johnson, Kavanaugh asked Justice Department lawyer Frederick Liu what the court should do "if we're trying to follow Curtis Johnson strictly?"

Police office guards the main entrance to the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018.

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.

Republicans had hoped to confirm Kavanaugh in time for the court's October 1 start of the new term.

"He's going to be a great Supreme Court justice - watch", he said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Sunday praised his party's senators, who he said re-established the "presumption of innocence" in confirmation hearings. Kavanaugh has also hired four clerks, all women, the first time that has happened.

Trump, who drew criticism for mocking Ford at a rally, said Kavanaugh had been cleared.

Republicans had hoped to confirm Kavanaugh in time for him to join the court on October 1, the start of the new term.

Republicans argue that the controversy over Kavanaugh has engaged conservative voters who otherwise have been apathetic to the midterm elections.

Kavanaugh was sworn in Saturday evening in a private ceremony as protesters chanted outside the court building.

"What we decide is whether the state - which has the burden of proving guilt beyond any reasonable doubt, the highest standard in our legal system - has met that burden of proof", Beskind said.