Kavanaugh shouldn’t be confirmed, retired Supreme Court Justice Stevens says

John Paul Stevens Opposes Kavanaugh: Thursday Hearing 'Changed My Mind'
Why Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens Has Stopped Supporting Brett Kavanaugh
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07 October, 2018

Kavanaugh showed his committee that he was biased, according to Stevens, and for that reason he's not qualified to be a Supreme Court justice.

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed on Thursday, Kavanaugh said he "might have been too emotional at times" in his testimony. Stevens also noted on Thursday that the partisan political influence over the high court was "worse" than ever.

"For the good of the court", he said, "it's not healthy to get a new justice that can only do a part-time job".

Kagan said, "I think it's been an extremely important thing for the court that in the last, really 30 years, starting with Justice O'Connor and continuing with Justice Kennedy, there has been a person who people - found the center where people couldn't predict in that sort of way".

He served from 1975 until his retirement in 2010.

Asked whether questions raised about Kavanaugh's credibility during the hearings should be disqualifying, Stevens said, "Not necessarily". For weeks, Kavanaugh said, some Democrats were "lying in wait" with Ford's allegation, ready to use it "only if you couldn't take me out on the merits".

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The committee has said the probe should be limited to "current credible allegations" against Kavanaugh and be finished by Friday. Ford testified Thursday that she was "100 percent" certain that Kavanaugh, not another man, assaulted her in 1982.


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Stevens, 98, has reportedly praised Kavanaugh in the past for his work as a judge, specifically in the 2014 book, "Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution". Almost 1,000 law professors signed a letter this week that said he "displayed a lack of judicial temperament that would be disqualifying for any court, and certainly for elevation to the highest court of this land". Stevens was a lifelong Republican but was considered liberal in his judicial rulings.

Mr Kavanaugh rejected those allegations, as well as further sexual misconduct claims from two other women.

Many event attendees of opposite political affiliations said Stevens stands as a relic of a bygone era, when justices were not apparently beholden to the presidents who nominate them.

Thousands of anti-Kavanaugh protesters rallied outside the Supreme Court and entered a Senate office building, holding signs such as "Believe Survivors" and 'Kava-Nope'.

Kagan and Sotomayor did not directly address the acrimonious Kavanaugh confirmation process in their talk at Princeton Friday, but called for the court to "guard its reputation of being impartial".

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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