Protests as Kavanaugh on Supreme Court

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"On behalf of our nation, I would like to apologize to Brett and his family for the awful pain and suffering that you have been forced to endure", Trump, standing in the East Room of the White House, said in the televised event.

Kavanaugh, a veteran of such proceedings after 12 years on an influential USA appeals court, looked at ease as he asked several questions during two hours of lively oral arguments involving a federal sentencing law for repeat offenders.

With Kavanaugh's ascension to the high court, Republicans, long dispirited by Trump's string of scandals and the prospect of losing their congressional majorities, are whooping it up. Progressives fought hard against Kavanaugh's confirmation due to his originalist jurisprudence and because he would replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, often viewed as a "swing" vote in many 5-4 decisions.

With police standing by, a small group of protesters demonstrated outside the courthouse, holding signs saying "Shame" and "He sits on a throne of lies", while chanting, "This isn't over, we're still here".

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump said Monday he was apologizing on behalf of the whole country to his new conservative Supreme Court justice after one of the most contentious confirmation processes in United States history. Both men testified about their respect for Supreme Court precedent, though Gorsuch already has been in the majority to overrule four high-court rulings.

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And on Monday evening he participated in a ceremonial swearing-in ceremony at the White House.

The president - whose Republicans fear losing at least the lower chamber of Congress - predicted that Democrats would pay for their attempts to block the confirmation, especially during the lurid debate over decades-old sexual assault allegations.

In 2016 Democrats attempted to fill the vacancy resulting from the passing of former Justice Antonin Scalia.

The cases, involving a Florida robbery and burglaries in Tennessee and Arkansas, challenged the types of crimes that qualify as violent felonies under that law and can lead to 15-year mandatory minimum sentences.

Mr Kavanaugh was 'caught up in a hoax set up by the Democrats, ' Mr Trump said.

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Kavanaugh's critics, unhappy with the Senate process, Kavanaugh's record and the way sexual assault allegations were handled, still plan to continue their protests against him.

"Justice Kavanaugh will serve our country admirably on the court because he understands that the very best way to protect human dignity and freedom is by respecting and enforcing the limits on government power contained in our Constitution", said Leonard Leo, executive vice president of the Federalist Society, who has played a critical role in the selection of conservative judges for the Trump White House.

As Gorsuch did in his first arguments a year ago, Kavanaugh focused heavily on the importance of following earlier decisions of the court.

"I think a lot of Democrats are going to vote Republican", he said.

The climactic 50-48 roll call vote Saturday on Kavanaugh was the closest vote to confirm a justice since 1881.

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Seated on the far right end of the bench, Kavanaugh listened alongside his eight colleagues to Stokeling v.