WASHINGTON-President Trump on Monday held a ceremonial swearing-in for new Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, where the president apologized to him for a fraught confirmation process in which he faced multiple allegations of sexual misconduct and assault.
Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats gave a global platform 11 days ago to Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of forcibly groping her and trying to undress her when they were both teenagers. He emphatically denied the allegations.
"I thought it was one of the most disgraceful performances I've ever seen", Trump said Monday of the Democrats' fight against Kavanaugh.
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. "I have been called the most vile and hateful names imaginable".
Kavanaugh said of his SCOTUS colleagues that he knew each of them, "each of whom I greatly admire and respect". I noticed one of the the Democratic senators said if they got back control of the Senate this year they would just not do any judges the next two years. "I think that after the dust settles on the night of [Nov.] 6th, I think that's where we start to evaluate".
He tried to distinguish between Mr Trump's nomination of Mr Kavanaugh this year and his own decision not to have the GOP-run Senate consider president Barack Obama's high court nominee, Merrick Garland, in 2016.
Protesters, a lot of them women, flooded the U.S. Capitol on Saturday ahead of the Senate's confirmation vote. With Kavanaugh's ascent to the nine-member high court, Trump now has filled two vacancies on the court from his list, including Neil Gorsuch previous year.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Sunday praised his party's senators, who he said re-established the "presumption of innocence" in confirmation hearings.
Trump apologized to Kavanaugh and his family for "the awful suffering you have been forced to endure". Every American can be assured that I will be an independent and impartial justice, devoted to equal justice under law.
In early 2016, McConnell refused to set hearings for President Barack Obama's last nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, saying the seat left open by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia should be filled by the victor of that year's election.
"When I decided on Brett, I said he's flawless", Trump told the annual convention of the International Association of Chiefs of Police in Orlando, Florida.
USA Today will provide live coverage of the White House ceremony in the player at the top of this page.
The Kavanaugh nomination fight has left many Americans feeling emotionally beaten up and also raised the stakes for the coming November 6 election which decides control of US Congress - the nation's legislative branch.