(UPI) — Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh is getting up to speed on the high court bench Monday after narrowly winning confirmation from the Senate.
The court began its new term a week ago as Kavanaugh’s appointment was heavily debated in Congress. He was confirmed Saturday and moved into his office Sunday. He has also hired a staff of four female law clerks, a first for any Supreme Court justice.
The four women were hired during Kavanaugh’s controversial confirmation hearing in which he faced accusations of sexual assault from his high school and college days.
“I’ll be the first justice in the history of the Supreme Court to have a group of all-women law clerks. That is who I am,” Kavanaugh pledged during the debate on his nomination.
With the high court now at nine justices, it will begin hearing cases and issuing judgments at full strength. The court’s new term began last Monday.
During his 12 years on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Washington, D.C., Circuit, a majority of the clerks he hired were women.
“My women law clerks said I was one of the strongest advocates in the federal judiciary for women lawyers,” Kavanaugh said. “And they wrote the the legal profession is fairer and more equal because of me. In my time on the bench, no federal judge–not a single one in the country–has sent more women law clerks to clerk on the Supreme Court than I have.”
Two crucial swing votes pushed Kavanaugh’s nomination over the top — West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin and Maine Republican Susan Collins.
Collins’ decision to support Kavanaugh has galvanized Democrats in Maine, where a crowdfunding campaign has already raised $3 million for a challenger to run against her in 2020. The site crashed for a time Sunday, in fact, because there was so much traffic.
Liz Jaff, president of the Be a Hero PAC, the group behind the crowdfunding, called it “rage donating.”
Despite Kavanaugh’s confirmation, Democrats say the fight isn’t over yet. If the party retakes control of one or both chambers in Congress, some Democrats have said, they will launch a new investigation into the claims made against Kavanaugh — and could attempt to remove him from the bench through impeachment.
Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., promised another investigation into Kavanaugh’s background. He would likely become the chair of the House judiciary committee if Democrats win the majority in November.
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