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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 October 2018

Brett Kavanaugh to hear first arguments as Supreme Court justice

Allegations of sexual assault silenced as he joins eight colleagues to hear case

Brett Kavanaugh prepares to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the third day of his Supreme Court confirmation hearing. AFP
Brett Kavanaugh prepares to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the third day of his Supreme Court confirmation hearing. AFP

Brett Kavanaugh is about to hear his first arguments as a Supreme Court justice.

The high court is hearing two hours of arguments Tuesday beginning at 10 am. It will be the first time Mr Kavanaugh joins his eight colleagues to hear a case.

Mr Kavanaugh was confirmed 50-48 on Saturday after a bitter Senate battle. He took his oaths of office in a private ceremony at the Supreme Court on Saturday evening. And on Monday evening he participated in a ceremonial swearing-in ceremony at the White House.

Republicans had hoped to confirm Mr Kavanaugh in time for the court's October 1 start of the new term. But his confirmation was delayed as the Senate considered allegations that he had sexually assaulted a woman in high school. Mr Kavanaugh denied those allegations.

He will emerge Tuesday morning from behind the courtroom's red velvet curtains and take his seat alongside his eight colleagues. It will be a moment that conservatives have dreamed of for decades, with five solidly conservative justices on the bench.

As the newest member of the court Mr Kavanaugh will take on a few special jobs. He will take notes for the justices when they meet for private conferences. He'll also be the one to answer the door at those meetings if someone knocks to deliver something such as a justice's coffee or forgotten glasses.

He'll also sit on the committee that oversees the court's cafeteria, which is open to the public. Chief Justice John Roberts has previously said that assignment is a way of bringing a new justice "back down to Earth after the excitement of confirmation and appointment."

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