Kavanaugh does not belong on Supreme Court, retired Justice Stevens says

  • In US
  • 2018-10-05 02:43:49Z
  • By Reuters
Retired U.
Retired U.  

(Reuters) - Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens said on Thursday that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh does not belong on the high court because of "potential bias" he showed in his recent Senate confirmation hearing.

Speaking to an audience of retirees in Boca Raton, Florida, Stevens, 98, said he started out believing that Kavanaugh deserved to be confirmed, "but his performance during the hearings caused me to change my mind."

Stevens cited commentary by Harvard University law professor Laurence Tribe and others suggesting Kavanaugh had raised doubts about his political impartiality when he asserted that sexual misconduct accusations he faced stemmed from an "orchestrated political hit" funded by left-wing groups seeking "revenge on behalf of the Clintons."

Kavanaugh had spent more than three years working for Ken Starr, the independent counsel who investigated Democratic President Bill Clinton in the 1990s.

Kavanaugh also testified last week that allegations against him were being fueled by "pent-up anger" over the 2016 election of President Donald Trump, who nominated Kavanaugh to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy.

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed on Thursday, Kavanaugh said he "might have been too emotional at times" in his testimony. Kavanaugh wrote that his testimony "reflected my overwhelming frustration at being wrongly accused."

Some critics have argued that Kavanaugh's highly partisan remarks so compromised his ability to appear politically fair-minded that he would be forced to recuse himself on many cases to preserve the court's integrity.

Stevens said he, too, has come to believe that Kavanaugh, a U.S. appellate judge, "demonstrated a potential bias involving enough potential litigants before the (high) court that he would not be able to perform his full responsibilities."

"I think there's merit in that criticism, and that the senators should really pay attention to it for the good of the court. It's not healthy to get a new justice who can only do a part-time job," Stevens said.

Stevens, a lifelong Republican and appointee of President Gerald Ford who ended up as a generally liberal voice on the court by the time he retired in 2010, spoke at an event hosted by a Palm Beach Post reporter. Video of his remarks was shown by the C-SPAN television network.

Stevens acknowledged praising Kavanaugh and one of his rulings on foreign campaign contributions in his 2014 book "Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution."

Stevens went on to say that his change of heart on Kavanaugh's fitness for the high court was "for reasons that have really no relationship to his intellectual ability or his record as a federal judge. He's a fine federal judge."

Asked whether questions raised about Kavanaugh's credibility during the hearings should be disqualifying, Stevens said, "Not necessarily."

Stevens also said political leaders and the court have failed to repair the nation's confidence in the judicial branch's separation from the president and the legislature.

"I think it's worse, I regret to say it," he said.

The U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation on Friday.

An FBI report to the Senate Judiciary Committee concluded an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh by California psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford and former Yale classmate Deborah Ramirez.

(The story was refiled to remove extra words in paragraph 7)

(Reporting by Bill Tarrant and Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Bill Berkrot and Leslie Adler)


More Related News

Supreme Court inaction suggests DACA safe for another year
Supreme Court inaction suggests DACA safe for another year

The Obama-era program that shields young immigrants from deportation and that President Donald Trump has sought to end seems likely to survive for at least another year. The program has been protected by several federal courts. The administration "never asked for a stay of the rulings below which

Trump tells anti-abortion marchers he will support them
Trump tells anti-abortion marchers he will support them
  • US
  • 2019-01-18 20:57:45Z

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump spoke in a prerecorded video to thousands of anti-abortion activists in Washington on Friday for the 46th March for Life, vowing to veto any legislation that "weakens the protection of human life."

Anti-abortion activists play defense in Congress while waiting for Supreme Court decisions
Anti-abortion activists play defense in Congress while waiting for Supreme Court decisions

Anti-abortion activists coming to Washington face newly empowered opponents in Democratic House.

French foie gras makers fed up by toughened California ban
French foie gras makers fed up by toughened California ban

French producers of foie gras, the rich liver delicacy made from force-feeding grain to ducks or geese, have denounced a ban on the product in California, saying they make the creamy paté humanely, following all the rules. California has formally blocked the sale and production of foie gras (literally "fat liver") since 2012. In France, which makes around 70 percent of the world's foie gras, farmers and high-end producers see a double-standard, arguing that they treat the animals well, with no harm done to them during the fattening process.

On Prohibition milestone
On Prohibition milestone's anniversary, U.S. top court hears booze case
  • US
  • 2019-01-16 18:48:56Z

A case testing the constitutionality of state regulations on the sale of alcohol enacted after the Prohibition era brewed before the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, with the justices appearing sympathetic toward a challenge to Tennessee's residency requirements for retailers. The one-hour argument came on the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the U.S. Constitution's 18th Amendment, which imposed a nationwide ban on alcoholic beverages and paved the way for a Prohibition era that ran from 1920 to 1933. A majority of the justices signaled support for challengers who said Tennessee's regulations were unlawfully aimed at protecting established business interests by preventing...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: US

Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.