Retired Supreme Court Justice: Brett Kavanaugh does not belong on high court

Bill Clark  CQ-Roll Call Group

Bill Clark CQ-Roll Call Group

Biskupic further pointed out that even before O'Connor and Kennedy "we always had this sort of steadying influence at the center so the court didn't swing too far to the left or too far to the right and without Anthony Kennedy, we don't have that kind of middle as we know it".

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". When asked his opinion on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, whom Stevens had once lauded, he said his views have changed after watching Kavanaugh's hearing.

Neither justice waded into the debate surrounding sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh.

But his Senate confirmation process had been roiled by the allegations from Dr Christine Blasey Ford and took place amid an atmosphere of bitter political partisanship in Washington. "I feel his performance in the hearings ultimately changed my mind".

"At that time, I thought (Kavanaugh) had the qualifications for the Supreme Court should he be selected", Stevens said. He was appointed in 1975 by President Gerald Ford, a Republican, but he voted with the court's liberal wing for much of his tenure.

Stevens said he, too, has come to believe that Kavanaugh, a USA 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".

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"I think there's merit to that criticism and I think the senators should really pay attention that", Stevens said.

"Despite the words yesterday of former Supreme Court Justice Stevens, NO WAY", Trump wrote.

The 98-year-old, since retiring, called for the repeal of the Second Amendment in a New York Times op-ed earlier this year.

"We live in a country where innocent until proven guilty is supposed to mean something; yet Brett Kavanaugh's reputation is being dragged through the mud while his family is facing non-stop death threats". "And that's enabled the court to look as though it was not owned by one side or another, and was indeed impartial and neutral and fair".

Democrats who oppose his confirmation contend that Kavanaugh could harbor political bias in light of the fierce opposition he faces over allegations that he sexually assaulted a teen while in high school.

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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