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Justice Kavanaugh Asks Questions on First Day

By George Khoury, Esq. on October 09, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

While justices have traditionally tended to do more watching and listening on the first day they take the bench, Justice Brett Kavanaugh jumped right in.

Perhaps trying not to be shown up by rookie Justice Neil Gorsuch's first day, Kavanaugh started asking questions during the oral arguments in both of the cases heard on his first ever Tuesday morning SCOTUS oral argument. He challenged the attorneys on both sides of each of the cases on prior precedents, and made sure everyone knew he was prepared by specifically calling out page numbers in cited cases when formulating his questions.

Could've Been Worse

While Justice Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing was among the worst (most contentious) ever in history, his first day was uneventful compared to Justice Black's first day in 1937. Justice Black was confirmed to the Court despite allegations of his belonging to the KKK, and on his first day, several attorneys interrupted to seek to block Justice Black from serving on the Court.

For Kavanaugh, outside the Court, protesters were holding signs that said things like "Shame," "Nope," and "He sits on a throne of lies," and were also chanting "This isn't over, we're still here." But protests outside the High Court aren't really anything out of the ordinary.

When proceedings started this morning, Chief Justice Roberts welcomed Justice Kavanaugh to the bench, and things proceeded as normal, with all nine justices. Prior to being seated, Justice Kavanaugh expressed regret over some of his comments, and at the swearing in ceremony stressed that he would take the bench with "no bitterness."

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