President Donald Trump apologized "on behalf of our nation" to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and his family Monday evening "for the awful pain and suffering you've been forced to endure", while proclaiming him innocent of allegations of sexual misconduct.
Kavanaugh, a veteran of such proceedings after 12 years on an influential USA appeals court, looked at ease as he asked several questions during two hours of lively oral arguments involving a federal sentencing law for repeat offenders.
Kavanaugh is the second justice Trump has successfully nominated to the Supreme Court, following the confirmation previous year of Neil Gorsuch to the seat left by the late Antonin Scalia. Susan Collins, R-Maine, amid a barrage of criticism over her vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court and a fundraising campaign seeking to oust her in 2020.
Kavanaugh took his seat at the end of the bench to Roberts' far left, a visible manifestation of a moment that Republicans have dreamed of for decades, with five solidly conservative justices on the court, and Democrats have dreaded.
Retired Justice Anthony Kennedy swears in Brett Kavanaugh at the Supreme Court as his wife Ashley holds the Bible.
As he departed the White House for a brief trip to Orlando Monday afternoon, Trump lauded Kavanaugh as a "brilliant jurist" and blamed Democrats for the focus on the allegations of sexual misconduct that dominated debate in the weeks before the nominee's Senate confirmation Saturday.
At a White House ceremony on Monday night, Kavanaugh said he was starting his new job without bitterness.
Kavanaugh's confirmation gave the Republican president a political victory ahead of crucial November 6 congressional elections.
Aaron Ramsey tipped to sign new contract and become club great
If he doesn't sign a new contract I really hope I don't see him doing that in the red shirts of Liverpool or Manchester United next season.
Kavanaugh says all four of the clerks who will work for him at the high court are women.
The president did not directly address the allegations at the ceremony but said Kavanaugh had faced a "campaign of political and personal destruction based on lies and deception".
As the newest member of the court, Kavanaugh will take on a few special jobs. 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.
Mr Kavanaugh was 'caught up in a hoax set up by the Democrats, ' Mr Trump said.
Tuesday's cases being argued before the justices involved the 1984 Armed Career Criminal Act, a "three-strikes-and-you're-out" criminal sentencing law that boosts prison sentences after multiple violent felonies or drug offences.
Kavanaugh was Trump's second selection for the nation's highest judicial body, following conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch previous year.
The ruling authored by Kavanaugh, confirmed by the Senate on Saturday after a contentious political battle, was made by a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the court on which he formerly served.
Republicans, meanwhile, are pushing to pick up seats in increasingly Democratic Colorado and OR while keeping them in most of New England as well as the South and much of the West. One of the two cases the court is hearing then involves the detention of immigrants, an issue on which Kavanaugh's vote could be key.