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New US Supreme Court Justice Pledges to Be 'Independent and Impartial'
The newest member of the United States Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh, after a bruising confirmation process in the Senate that bitterly divided the nation, is vowing to hear every case with respect and an open mind.
"Every American can be assured that I will be an independent and impartial justice," Kavanaugh said in the White House East Room after a ceremonial swearing-in ahead of his first day on the bench Tuesday.
The other eight members of the highest court, a number of Republican senators crucial to the confirmation process and President Donald Trump watched Monday as retired Justice Anthony Kennedy administered the judicial oath to Kavanaugh.
"The Senate confirmation process was contentious and emotional. That is now over," declared Kavanaugh.
Kavanaugh added that the Supreme Court "is not a partisan or political institution," promising to "always be a team player on a team of nine."
Kavanaugh also announced that all four of his law clerks will be women — "a first in the history of the Supreme Court."
Minutes earlier, Trump alluded to the fierce Democratic Party opposition to the federal circuit court judge he had nominated to the bench who was accused of sexual misconduct in his youth.
The allegation by Christine Blasey Ford, now a university professor in California, nearly derailed Kavanaugh's confirmation. Kavanaugh denied the accusation.
"On behalf of our nation, I want to apologize to Brett and the entire Kavanaugh family for the terrible pain and suffering you have been forced to endure," Trump said. "You, sir, under historic scrutiny, were proven innocent."
Kavanaugh was officially sworn in Saturday, just after the Senate narrowly confirmed him by a vote of 50-48, to the lifetime seat on the country's highest court.