Kavanaugh takes seat on Supreme Court as protesters outside shout ’SHAME’

“Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver criticized Senator Susan Collins’ decision to vote for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh

Kavanaugh asked questions of both sides in arguments over increased prison sentences for repeat offenders.

Kavanaugh, 53, began work immediately after his official swearing-in on Saturday evening even as protesters stormed the front steps of the Supreme Court and pounded on the 13-ton bronze doors, furious that he had been confirmed despite a decades-old allegation of sexual assault brought by Christine Blasey Ford.

Kavanaugh already has been at the Supreme Court preparing for his first day on the bench Tuesday.

Also in attendance was his predecessor, the retired Justice Anthony Kennedy.

There were no disruptions in the courtroom.

Conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch joined the court a year ago.

"Say it loud, and say it clear: Kavanaugh's not welcome here!" they chanted, dressed in long red robes and white hats in temperatures slated to reach 80 degrees.

The US Senate voted 50-48 on Saturday to confirm him, with just one Democrat supporting him. The court, which started the term last week with eight justices, was back to full strength.

Mr Trump said he was "very proud" of Justice Kavanaugh and his family, and disparaged the anti-Kavanaugh protesters. One of the two cases involves the detention of immigrants, an issue on which Kavanaugh's vote could be key.

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At one point, Kavanaugh could be seen having a lighthearted exchange with liberal Justice Elena Kagan, seated next to him. That doesn't mean that much of the anger and passion was inorganic, mind you, but the Professional Left clearly had a hand in shaping the optics - knowing exactly what sort of made-for-TV displays their allies in the mainstream media would eat up.

The cases challenge the types of crimes that qualify as violent felonies under that law and can lead to 15-year mandatory minimum sentences for a defendant.

And it wouldn't elicit laughs as Justice Sonia Sotomayor did when she gave Justice Neil Gorsuch a little pinch on the arm to illustrate whether something like that would fit under the law's definition.

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

As they have before, the justices were not shy about asking whether Congress would change the Armed Career Criminal Act, in part to rescue them from their previous decisions. He jumped in with his first question after most of the other justices had spoken. "I do not believe her assailant was Brett Kavanaugh".

His attempt to frame his apology to Kavanaugh as coming on behalf of the entire nation also overlooks public antipathy toward the nominee.

Across the street at the U.S. Capitol, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell spoke on the Senate floor about Kavanaugh's rocky, partisan confirmation process that ended Saturday when he was sworn in at the Supreme Court.

He later expressed regret over some of his comments. But critics said Kavanaugh's demeanor before the Senate Judiciary Committee raised questions about his temperament and potential political bias in deciding cases.

During a ceremonial swearing-in at the White House this evening, Kavanaugh described the confirmation process as "contentious and emotional" but said he has "no bitterness".

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