A Supreme Court docket with a brand new conservative majority takes the bench as Brett Kavanaugh, narrowly confirmed after a bitter Senate battle, joins his new colleagues to listen to his first arguments as a justice.
Kavanaugh will emerge Tuesday morning from behind the courtroom’s crimson velvet curtains and take his seat alongside his eight colleagues. It is going to be a second that conservatives have dreamed of for many years, with 5 solidly conservative justices on the bench.
Kavanaugh’s predecessor, Justice Anthony Kennedy, who retired in June, was a extra reasonable conservative and generally sided with the courtroom’s 4 liberal justices. Kavanaugh, in distinction, is anticipated to be a extra decidedly conservative vote, tilting the courtroom proper for many years and leaving Chief Justice John Roberts because the justice closest to the ideological center.
With justices seated by seniority, U.S. President Donald Trump’s two appointees will flank the Supreme Court docket bench, Justice Neil Gorsuch at one finish and Kavanaugh on the different. Court docket watchers shall be trying to see whether or not the brand new justice asks questions at arguments and, in that case, what he asks. There will even be these searching for any lingering indicators of Kavanaugh’s heated, partisan affirmation combat. However the justices, who typically spotlight their efforts to work collectively as a collegial physique, are prone to give attention to the instances earlier than them.
WATCH: Trump apologizes to Brett Kavanaugh throughout Supreme Court docket swearing-in ceremony
Republicans had hoped to substantiate Kavanaugh in time for him to hitch the courtroom on Oct. 1, the beginning of the brand new time period. As a substitute, the previous D.C. Circuit decide missed the primary week of arguments because the Senate thought-about an allegation that he had sexually assaulted a lady in highschool, an allegation he adamantly denied.
Kavanaugh was confirmed 50-48 Saturday, the closest vote to substantiate a justice since 1881, and has had a busy three days since then. On Saturday night, Kavanaugh took his oaths of workplace in a personal ceremony on the Supreme Court docket whereas protesters chanted outdoors the courtroom constructing.
And on Monday night he was the visitor of honour at a ceremonial swearing-in on the White Home. Whereas Trump apologized on behalf of the nation for “the horrible ache and struggling” Kavanaugh and his household had suffered and declared him “confirmed harmless,” the brand new justice assured Individuals that he could be honest and was taking the job with “no bitterness.”
Kavanaugh has additionally begun shifting into his new workplace on the Supreme Court docket, taking up area beforehand utilized by Justice Samuel Alito, who moved into places of work vacated by Kennedy. Kavanaugh has additionally employed 4 clerks, all ladies, the primary time that has occurred. He has additionally been getting ready for arguments this week.
On Tuesday, the courtroom is scheduled to listen to two hours of arguments in instances involving lengthy sentences for repeat offenders. On Wednesday, the one different day of arguments this week, the courtroom will hear one other two hours of arguments. One of many two instances the courtroom is listening to Wednesday entails the detention of immigrants, a problem on which Kavanaugh’s vote may very well be key.
Although he missed the courtroom’s first week, not one of the six instances argued handled blockbuster points. They included a case a couple of potential habitat for an endangered frog and one other about an Alabama demise row inmate whose attorneys argue he shouldn’t be executed as a result of dementia has left him unable to recollect his crime. Kavanaugh gained’t vote in these instances, but when the courtroom is cut up Four-Four it might determine to have these instances re-argued so Kavanaugh can break the tie.
WATCH: Brett Kavanaugh says, ‘I take this workplace with gratitude and no bitterness’
As the most recent member of the courtroom, Kavanaugh will tackle just a few particular jobs. He’ll take notes for the justices once they meet for personal conferences. He’ll even be the one to reply the door at these conferences if somebody knocks to ship one thing corresponding to a justice’s espresso or forgotten glasses.
He’ll additionally sit on the committee that oversees the courtroom’s cafeteria, which is open to the general public. Chief Justice John Roberts has beforehand stated that project is a approach of bringing a brand new justice “again all the way down to Earth after the joy of affirmation and appointment.”