Ceremonial Swearing- In of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh CSPAN October 8, 2018 6:59pm-7:54pm EDT
>> thank you very much. thank you. members of congress, members of the cabinet, honored guests and fellow americans, it is my privilege to address you tonight from the east room of the white house. we're gathered together this evening for a truly momentous occasion. it is long been told that the most important decision a president can make is the appointment of a supreme court justice. well in just a few moments we will swear in the newest member of the united states supreme court, justice brett kavanaugh.
deep appreciation to maureen scalia the wife of the late justice scalia and to our white house counsel. thank you. we are thrilled to be join this evening by justice anthony kennedy. justice kennedy, america owes you a profound debt of gratitude for a lifetime of noble service to our nation and i want to thank you very much. thank you. (applause).
very special and treasured guests are justice kavanaugh's amazing wife ashley. thank you, ashley. (applause). their two beautiful daughters margaret and liza. (applause). and we are also joined by justice kavanaugh's mom and dad. thank you. (applause). i would like to begin tonight's proceedings differently than any other event of such magnitude. i want to apologize to brett and the entire kavanaugh family for
the pain and suffering you have been forced to endure. those who stepped forward to serve our country deserve a fair and dignified evaluation, not a campaign of political and personal destruction based on lies and deception. what happened to the kavanaugh family violates every notion of fairness decency, and due process. our country, a man or a woman, must always be
presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. (applause). and with that i must say that you, sir under historic scrutiny were proven innocent. thank you.
margaret and liza your father is a great man. he is a main of decency character, kindness, and courage, who has devoted his life to serving his fellow citizens. and now from the bench of our nation's highest court your father will defend the eternal rights and freedoms of all americans. you know that. (applause). we are joined tonight by a leader who has never wavered in his support and devotion to the rule of law and to brett kavanaugh's elevation. he's worked very, very hard, and he truly has done just an
incredible and wonderful job for the american people, majority leader mitch mcconnell. (applause). i think that's the biggest hand he's ever received. i don't get it, mitch. you're great. thank you. i very much appreciate it. i would like to thank another man whose principal leadership has earned wide spread admiration, the chairman of the judiciary committee, senator chuck grassley. thank you, chuck. (applause).
we are grateful to all the senators on the judiciary committee who fought so hard for this confirmation. senators lindsey graham, john cornyn orrin hatch mike lee, ted cruz, ben sasse, jeff flake, mike crapo tom tillis, and john kennedy. (applause) a thank you also to rob portman sitting right here. thank you, rob. and, finally, we are indebted to senator susan collins for her brave and eloquent speech and her declaration that when passions are most inflamed fairness is most in jeopardy. how true, how true.
(applause). brett kavanaugh is a man of outstanding intellect, a brilliant scholar, and his credentials are unsurpassed. a graduate of both yael college and -- jail -- yale college and yale law school. he spent 26 years in public service, and just like justice gorsuch, he clerked for justice kennedy. for the last 12 years brett was a judge on the d.c. circuit court of appeals, widely regarded as our nation's second highest court. during his tenure, he authored over 300 opinions distinguished by their masterful and impartial reasoning. known as a judge's judge, he is
a fair-minded, unbiassed, even-handed person. he understands that justice be divorced from the pagsz of the -- passions of the day tethered instead to the enduring foundation of our republic, the constitution. justice kavanaugh fills the place left by anthony kennedy. soon justice kennedy will administer the initial oath to brett kavanaugh just as he did last year for justice gorsuch. this will be the first time a supreme court justice has ever sworn in a former clerk to take his seat, a beautiful moment which reminds us freedom is a tradition passed down from generation to generation, and that's a big statement. and i want to thank you for that so much. so beautiful.
thank you. mar ret and -- margaret and liza's presence tonight reminds us what this historic event, all about your father, is all about. it is about what kind of nation we're going to be and what kind of country our children will inherit. it is up to each of us and to all americans watching tonight to answer that question. it is up to us to claim our heritage of equal and impartial justice. it is up to us to rededicate ourselves to the traditions and wisdom of our founders, and it is up to us to renew the bonds of love loyalty and affection that link us all together as one big american family.
(applause). let us pray we are successful in this task. let us pray that all of america's children will grow up in a country that is fair and justice, safe and strong and free, and let us -- and his family as they embark on this incredible journey together. i now invite justice kavanaugh to come forward and to take the judicial oath. thank you, very much. (applause ).
>> lu please repeat after me. i, brett m. kavanaugh, do solemnly spare. >> i do brett m. kavanaugh, do solemnly swear. >> that i will administer justice -- >> be do -- and do equal right to the poor and to the rich. >> and that i will faithfully and impartially. >> that i will faithly and impartially. >> discharge and perform. >> discharge and perform. >> all the duties incumbent upon you. >> all the duties incumbent upon me. >> as associate justice of the supreme court of the united states. >> as associate justice of the supreme court of the united states. >> under the constitution and law of the united states. >> under the constitution and
i've seen firsthand your deep appreciation of the vital role of the american judiciary. i am grateful for your steadfast, unwavering support throughout this process. i am grateful to you and to the first lady for the exceptional overwhelming courtesy you have extended to my family and me. mr. president, thank you for everything. (applause). >> i am honored to serve on a supreme court headed by chief justice john roberts. chief justice roberts is a principled, independent, and inspiring leader for the american judiciary. as a country, we are fortunate to have john roberts as chief
justice of the united states. i'm honored to serve alongside all of my new colleagues, each of whom i know and each of whom i greatly admire and deeply respect. all nine of us revere the constitution. article 3 of the constitution provides that the judicial power shall be vested in one supreme court. the supreme court is an institution of law. it is not a partisan or political institution. the justices do not sit on opposite size -- on opposite sides of an aisle. we do not caucus in separate rooms. the supreme court is a team of nine, and i will always be a team player on the team of nine. (applause).
as a new justice on the supreme court, i understand the responsibility that i bear. some 30 years ago, standing here in this room with president reagan anthony kennedy took the oath to be a new justice of the supreme court. justice kennedy became one of the most consequential justices in american history. he served -- i served as justice kennedy's law clerk in 1993. to me, justice kennedy is a mentor a friend, and a hero. on the supreme court he was a model of civility and collegiality. he fiercely defensed the independence of the judiciary and sglel yusly guard -- sglel yusly -- zealously guarded the constitution. he established a legacy of liberty for ourselves and our posterity.
i will always be proud and humbled to sit in justice kennedy's seat on the supreme court. (applause). i thank the members of the u.s. senate, leader mitch mcconnell, for his leadership and steady resolve. and to the judiciary committee chairman chuck grassley and special gratitude to robert portman, susan collins, joe manchin and lindy graham. they are a credit to the country and the senate. i will be grateful to them and to all of the senators who carefully considered my nomination. presiding over the final vote in the senate on saturday was vice president pence.
i am grateful to the vice president for his sound advice and support. i thank don ml1cl0gahn, who -- mcgahn who -- performed his duties in the finest manner to our constitution. i thank all the outstanding people in the white house, the department of justice, and the senate who worked day and night on this nomination. one of the federal judge's most responsibilities is to hire four new law clerks each year. law clerks are recent law school graduates and they work in the judge's chaerms for one -- chambers for one year. they are among the best an brightest lawyers. i thank my former law clerks who devoted so much time and energy
to support me during the confirmation process. my mom was a trailblazer for women in the law. i worked hard throughout my career to promote the advancements of women. women still face many barriers in the american work place. all of us have a responsibility to address that problem. during my 12 years on the d.c. circuit, a majority of my law clerks were women, and almost all of them went on to clerk at the supreme court. a clerkship on the supreme court is one of the most coveted achievements and credentials in american law. i'm proud that all four of my newly hired law clerks at supreme court are women, a first in the history of the supreme court. (applause).
tonight i thank all my friends, from my high school taste, college, law school, when i was clerk, the white house, including president george w. bush. from the judiciary teaching, coaching sports, the vibrant loyal, and tight-knit catholic community near the d.c. area and so many others. ashley and i are grateful for their prayers and from the thousands and thousands of people we have heard from throughout america. when i give advice to young people or speak to students, i tell them, cherish your friends look out for your friends, lift up your friends, love your
friends. i love all my friends. (applause). i thank my family, my mom martha and my dad are here. i'm their only child. mom was one of maryland's earliest women prosecutors and trial judges. my dad taught me his work ethic and love of sport and has given me a lifetime of love and i'm forever grateful to them. my daughters margaret and liza are smart, strong, awesome girls. they are in the middle of fall
lacrosse and looking forward to the upcoming basketball season. i thank their teachers for giving them the day ofl tomorrow so that -- day off tomorrow so they can come watch two cases being argued at the supreme court. my wife ashley is a proud texan from abilene, texas, a graduate from be a bleen public -- abilene texas high school. she is the town manager, she has a deep faith and she is a great wife. she is a rock. i thank god every day for ashley and my family.
the senate confirmation process, both contentious and emotional. the process is over. my focus now is to be the best justice i can be. i take this office with gratitude and no bitterness. on the supreme court i will seek to be a force for stability and unity. my goal is to be a great justice for all americans and for all of america. i will work very hard to achieve that goal. i was not appointed to serve one party or one interest but to serve one nation. america's constitution and laws protects every person of every belief and every background. every litigant in the supreme court can be assured we'll listen to their arguments with
respect and an open mind. every american can be assured that i will be an independent and impartial justice devoted to equal justice under law. although the supreme court -- the senate confirmation process tested me, as it has tested others it did not change me. my approach to judging remains the same, a good judge must be neutral neutral. a judge must be independent and must interpret the law, not make the law. a justice interprets statutes as written and a judge must interpret the constitution as written, informed by history and tradition and precedent. in the wake of the senate confirmation process my approach to life also remains
the same. i will continue to heed the message of matthew 25. i will continue to volunteer to serve the least fortunate among us. i will continue to coach. i will continue to strive to be a good friend, colleague husband, and dad. as in the past, our nation today faces challenges and divisions. but i am an optimist. i live on the sunrise side. i see the day that is coming, not the day that has gone. i am optimistic about the future of america and the future of our independent judiciary, the crown jewel of our constitution. as a justice on the supreme court i will always strive to preserve the constitution of the united states and the american rule of law. thank you all.
(applause). >> ladies and gentlemen, we ask that you remain in your seats until the press corps has departed the east room. thank you. >> in the east room of the white house, c-span's live coverage of the swearing in of brett kavanaugh to be the next supreme court justice. you could see the president of the united states, along with
now retired justice anthony kennedy who was appointed back in 197 -- 1987 was confirmed. the phone lines are open. we want to hear from you. 202-748-8921, that's the line for republicans. 282-748-8920. and for all others, 202-748-8922. there you see the senate republican leader, mitch mcconnell, and the shoutout by the president for thanking him. he was confirmed saturday afternoon the final vote was 50-48. let's get your reaction to what you have been seeing not only tonight but what we've been seeing. beverly on the line for republicans. good evening. >> good evening. >> you're on the air.
go ahead. >> i just want to say i'm proud to be an american today to see a man as qualified and not only experience, just his credentials to be on the supreme court and someone who believes that court should follow the constitution, not legislate, and, again, what a proud day for americans. thank you. >> ralph reed, and doug ginsburg who was his second nominee. you can see him with the glss and -- white glasses with the white balancing -- balding head. next on the democrats line is is paul from maine. >> i've been a life long democrat. i have watched this and there are always serious questions
coming up. i was disheartened with the whole way the democratic party seems to be going through. -- now. it seems to be attacking personal people. it is attacking the senators when they are in the lobby or restaurant. i think the man showed a lot of class. there's a lot of questions about everybody when we were kids, but he has grown-up to be a highly respectful person. i'm proud of susan collins for standing up what she thought was right, doing her research and doing what needed to be done. i think she made the right choice. >> we saw justice kavanaugh and the democrat and republican-appointed justices were there in a sign of unity for the supreme court. oral arguments again continue tomorrow as justice kavanaugh said a moment ago. from new jersey, the independent line. go ahead please. >> i'm so grateful that brett is
on the bench now. he is going to make an absolute great supreme court justice. but i'm so disappointed on how the democrats tried to sabotage the -- his position. >> thanks for the call. we're getting feedback. you see leonard leo of the federalist society played a key pivotal role. he is behind ralph reed in the center of the screen in coming up with a list of nominees that the president chose from and bret kavanaugh and kneel gor sich -- neil gorsuch. we go to nancy on the republican lined from ohio. -- on the republican line from ohio. >> hi, as hard as it was to watch the entire process come into play, it is so great it came to a great resolution. in a way i'm glad that he had to go through what he had to go
through. he's a judge. i'm sure he really felt what it was like tor pers -- to be persecuted and not given a fair trial. he's a judge and he had to experience what a common being might have to go through. i'm just real proud that he could with stand the pressure and, you know, everything that he had to go through, and i just really hope the american public wakes up and realize that this is a really good truman who was -- true man put to the test. >> and these are pictures from the white house following the swearing in of brett kavanaugh to serve on the supreme court. we have brnda -- brenda on the democrats line. >> i am very disappointed. and it saddens me that women
have to suffer so much by the hands of men who abuse them. and if it had been and f.b.i. investigation, i would been more -- but it is a sad day for me. thank you. >> thanks for the call. we go to pass dona -- pasadena, independent line. >> thank you, c-span for your work. i proesh yat having an -- i appreciate having an option to be able to view and listen to the speeches and to all what c-span makes available to us. >> thanks for calling in. >> i -- i've never belonged to any a political party, and i think it is mainly because, i don't know maybe here in california it is a little different. you tend to get bullied when you stand up for your beliefs, and i always felt that it was better
to not reveal what party i belong to, and thus never joined a party -- political party. but these last -- i'm now in my mid-50's, and these last three years, i'm -- and i must say i have almost always voted socially conscience, and i voted mostly for democrats my whole life. and -- but these last three years, i've seen something from the democratic party that i never thought i would see, and this natsiness that we have seen before us is -- it -- i don't know. i don't know how to say it. it slowly -- it is unravelling our nation, and i never -- i never imagined that we would be
facing people that are wlky to put party before our nation. and i -- exactly what happened with -- i don't know what happened exactly with mr. kavanaugh. it would have been facts that were corroborated and that there were -- were people -- >> i will let you finish your point. rob rosen stooin, who was with -- rosenstein, who was with the president earlier. and also the strategic communications director. i want to identify some of the people in the room, two key players for the republican party. please go ahead. >> yes, thank you. and i -- you know making allegations that are -- that are not supported and that seem too
political, i think weakened the true, and that has been abused in our nation. i think democrats have hurt those voices that have not come out and anyway -- and also the me too movement was weakened because it was hijacked by the democratic party. i think hopefully people can take a step back and just calm down and realize that our judges are not controlled by the president that appointed them. >> we'll stop you there. i will share a couple of tweets. a lot are coming in. this says, so happy america has a justice kavanaugh. another tweet from deb saying trump introducing mitch mcconnell, for get it. this hoopla makes me sick.
this is awkward. donald trump and his good old boy's club patting himself on the back. well done scumbags. >> we highly recommend you watch c-span to learn how politics work. god bless you. let's make america great again. on the democrats line, jamie is next. good morning. well come to the conversation. >> good morning. i just have a short comment. i would like to thank senator joe manchin for voting for justice kavanaugh. i really -- i watched every bit of this and i really thought he was an innocent man and i think our country will be better for him being in the supreme court. and thank you. >> thank you for the call. this is another viewer saying a room full of white men and few women. this watts justice -- this was
justice and any kennedy who stepped down from the court and did the ceremonial swearing in and the official swearing in was done yesterday at -- by the chief justice of the united states. tomorrow will be the first day of oral arguments for justice kavanaugh. hits daughters -- his daughters lb attending as well. joanna, republican line. what are you seeing tonight? >> thank you so much for taking my call. this is the first time -- this is my first time voting and turning into a republican was voting for trump. i did my literature on it, and i understand what women are going through, but you know, we have to also show respectable in our speech and behavior. we have to also make, you know, show an example of how we want
to be treated and be lady like. i don't see too many people being lady like. i'm happy and i look forward to what he's doing for our country. >> brandon, logan, west virginia. your senator was key in the confirmation of brett kavanaugh. >> i was initially disappointed in the senator. i realized that -- i hope that pressure from donald trump did not cause him to switch his vote to young kavanaugh. and it is really think -- i understand what he's going through, but i feel like in the election i'm still going to have to vote for him joe manchin because he's a better option. i feel like our senator's in a tough spot right now. >> thank you. this from another viewer said that he opens up with an apology.
thank you, hashtag, make america great again. joining us is lenoir. thank you. >> thank you. i wanted to say this is one of the most beautiful swearing ins that i have seen in my lifetime. i'm not young anymore. i just appreciate that after a contentious fight that judge brett kavanaugh is now on the supreme court of the united states and i have every confidence that he will uphold all his rulings keeping the rule of law in the back of his mind and will defend our constitution. thank you. >> thank you for the call. >> let's go next to deborah in salem, massachusetts independent line. good evening. >> hi, my name is deborah, and i thank you for letting me call in today. when i was watching judge kavanaugh's hearings, what i
noticed in the very beginning was -- a nominee who seemed to answer and have very good responses in the beginning. but then during the confirmation, during the hearing after christine blasey ford, whether or not people believe she was a victim, it was his temperment that bothered me. when i heard him say that he was talking about the democrats and others and got very volatile to me, that was not good judicial temperment. and i think what we're really missing here is we're trying to sway and it sound like what we're saying between men and women, men on one side and women on the other, and i don't think that is good for our country. >> he did addressed that in his remarks. what was your take away? >> i, untortly -- unfortunately, did not see the remarks.
>> we will show it to you in five minutes, the entire ceremony. if you miss it, it will reair. and it is on our web site. we'll go to michael joining us from alabama. also on the republican line. good evening. >> i'm happy that he won. that's all i got. >> boyd in iowa. your senator chuck grassley is the chair of the senate judiciary committee. your reaction to all of this? >> my reaction is that it is sad that the fb knuckled under to -- that f.b.i. knuckled under to the president. i can't hear you. hello. >> we can hear you. >> and trump -- lying to that group. he puts a moniker on everybody.
and that sets a harsh tone. he suted hurting -- suggested hurting hillary. i think trump sets this. >> con combrat layingses to -- congratulations to juf. >> -- to judge kavanaugh. >> we go to the independent line. good evening. >> hello. >> you're on the air. >> yeah, i -- i want to say, first off, i'm irish catholic, all right, but i -- i have just a statement about the fbi investigation itself. >> okay. >> i kind of think -- shut up. i think the fbi investigation, people believe that trump and the administration actually influenced it and made a lot of people lose faith in the fbi. my question is that people left
-- now have less faith in the fbi. people on the right used to over the e-mail thing, you know, that -- the e-mail. yeah, i -- i just wanted to know if it is possible that trump actually influenced the fbi investigation to make if go in his favor, is it possible that the last president did the same thing for hillary clinton? that's just my thoughts. >> thanks. was that your -- >> sorry? >> was that your son or daughter in the background? >> that's my son. >> okay. >> tell him we appreciate you being quiet so you could make your point. >> he's 34, so. do you believe that if this president could have influenced the fbi investigation, do you think the last president could
have done the same thing? >> the great thing we do here is that we want to hear from you. thank you for the call. this is from link who tweeted as well. i am leaving with the democrats. i don't want to be associated with their lunatic fringe. back to your calls. dick in atlanta republican line. good evening. >> hi. thank you for taking my call. i wanted to point out a few things. the first thing i want to address, i used to really appreciate c-span. over the last couple of years i noticed how you have -- you have changed how you give information and the types of guests that you have and that -- that they try to pass on to the general public. my main focus, especially with kavanaugh, my remark about that is it is -- it is disheartening hearing a lot of these comments
from the people who think that they are standing for or trying to believe in representation, not understanding the undertone of what's actually taking place. you know, that is very disheartening. there's a lot of division. it is apparent. there's a lot of -- and it is just a tragedy that people willing to take sides rather than see the truth that's playing out in the front of them. >> thanks for the call. i point out. we don't take sides on anything. if you watch this over the course of 24 hours you will see every possible point of view. every event. many live in its entirety and the guests on the program are a cross section of america and political viewpoint. thank you for the call. we appreciate it. let's go to bernadette, independent line. good evening. >> hi. i have always viewed myself as
sort of an independent. i will vote for a candidate who i feel really resonates with me and i've got to be honest, this whole kavanaugh thing has truly made me feel like i could never vote for a democrat ever again. i just didn't know what to believe at first when the accusations came out, so i decided i was going to research everything for myself, read articles not just the headlines on the articles. and, you know, to discuss it -- that you know, dr. ford's attorneys were giving her -- or directed to them from feinstein's office and her friend that helped her write the letter was an an ex-fbi agent. there were things that i just wanted to know. and then -- at the hearings, you
know, the way they behaved -- the democrats, the way they behaved, i feel like they crossed a line that i will never cross. i will never be able to support them ever again. just the vicious lies to this man who absolutely is innocent and, you know, whether you're a democrat or republican, we're people. people truly have lost their -- their good will, you know over politics. and i will never cross that line. another thing i just wanted to say, a lot of the women i speak to and have met and talked to support him, and -- you know when -- women are not going to support him. it is not true. i think women will going to show up at the polls to punish the democrat for what they have done. that's just my opinion. thank you for taking my call. >> thank you. tomorrow on c-span's washington journal, we will have donna
brazil here to talk about the female vote. this have from virgil cross. he says that today will go down as one of the greatest days in history. to all of you, for your calls, your comments, your tweets, we thank you. in case you missed it from 7 p.m. eastern the east room of the white house the ceremonial swearing in of brett kavanaugh. on hand the other eight justices of the supreme court and members of the senate along with brett kavanaugh's family. from kr span's last -- from c-span's last hour. this is the coverage.