Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in Saturday night as the 114th justice of the US Supreme Court, days after he was accused of sexual harassment. Even as Kavanaugh took his oath of office in a quiet private ceremony, not long after the narrowest Senate confirmation in nearly a century and a half, protesters chanted outside the court building across the street from the Capitol.
President Donald Trump nominated Kavanaugh on July 9, 2018, to replace Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy who announced his retirement earlier this year. In September, Christine Blasey Ford, an American professor of psychology, alleged she was sexually assaulted by him. Later, two more women accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct in the 1980s. Kavanaugh has denied all allegations.
Who is Brett Kavanaugh?
The 53-year-old is an American attorney and United States circuit judge of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia circuit. He hails from Maryland and pursued his undergraduate and law degrees from Yale University.
Kavanaugh began working in 1993 as a clerk for Justice Anthony M Kennedy and later went on to replace him. Kavanaugh has worked largely in government jobs rather than the private sector. He served as an assistant to independent counsel Keneth W Starr in the investigations of the Clinton administration and suicide of Clinton aide Vince Foster.
Subsequently, Kavanaugh served for five years in former president George Bush’s administration, initially as an associate counsel and then as staff secretary. Bush nominated Kavanaugh to the US Court of Appeals for the Washington DC circuit in 2003, however after a series of negotiations, he was confirmed in 2006 where he maintained a conservative record.
Kavanaugh along his career has been present at major events — he helped Bush’s team in the high-stakes Supreme Court decision to block the recount of votes in the 2000 presidential election between Bush and Al Gore and he assisted in drafting the report recommending Clinton’s impeachment, in which he wrote independent counsel investigations can take “too long”, easily become “politicised”, and can go beyond their original scope.
At a 2004 confirmation hearing, Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois called Kavanaugh “the Zelig or Forrest Gump of Republican politics” because he’s been present at so many dramatic events throughout his career.