Donald Trump apologises to Brett Kavanaugh and declares him ‘proven innocent'

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While experts believe these will probably not provide close votes, Kavanaugh missed a case regarding an endangered frog that seemed to divide the court. Conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch joined the court a year ago. And all Curtis Johnson seemed to hold was that that was excluded.

He also repeated that claim at a rally in Iowa Tuesday night, saying "phony protesters" were supposed to be paid "and now they want to protest because they didn't get paid yet and they want their money".

The justices then heard arguments in a series of cases about prison terms for repeat offenders and what constitutes a "violent felony" that would open up recidivists to more serious sentences. From time to time, he put on reading glasses to refer to papers in front of him.

Kavanaugh was joined at the ceremony by his wife and two daughters. Kavanaugh replaced Kennedy on the bench. "And a judge must interpret the Constitution as written, informed by history and tradition and precedent", Kavanaugh said.

Last week, the Federal Bureau of Investigation completed a report on sexual misconduct allegations against Mr Kavanaugh - but the findings have not been released to the public. It will be a moment that conservatives have dreamed of for decades, with five solidly conservative justices on the bench. The 53-year-old Kavanaugh occasionally chatted privately with his seatmate, Justice Elena Kagan.

Alaska Republican party leaders plan to consider whether to reprimand senator Lisa Murkowski for opposing Mr Kavanaugh's confirmation.

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It seemed like business as usual in the ornate courtroom, three days after Kavanaugh was confirmed by the Republican-led Senate despite being accused of sexual assault by a university professor named Christine Blasey Ford. He's already hired four women to serve as his Supreme Court clerks, something that he noted Monday evening was a first, and studied the legal briefs for the cases on deck.

"A man or a woman must always be presumed innocent, unless or until proven guilty", the president added, to applause in the White House East Room.

At a White House swearing-in ceremony, Trump stood next to Justice Brett Kavanaugh and said he´d been "proven innocent" of the sexual assault allegations that threatened to derail him in a Senate confirmation process revealing the depth of the left-right split tearing through American politics. Kavanaugh had said during his confirmation hearing in September that he would hire an all female clerk if confirmed.

Justice Kavanaugh can be expected to cast crucial votes on those issues as well as gun control, immigration, voting rights and others.

Though he missed the court's first week, none of the six cases argued dealt with blockbuster issues. Kennedy, considered a conservative, was perceived as a swing vote on the court after siding with liberals on several crucial cases.

As the newest member of the court, Kavanaugh will take on a few special jobs. They took their oaths at the court in ceremonies that were televised live.