It’s pretty sad that the Democrats like Eric Holder have been calling into question the Supreme Court after they lost a bruising Supreme Court confirmation battle that they themselves politicized. But despite the Democrats’ best efforts, Kavanaugh started work at the Supreme Court on Tuesday, where he began hearing oral arguments and was greeted warmly by his new colleagues.
From Daily Caller:
Throughout his first sitting, Kavanaugh projected command and interacted warmly with his new colleagues, several of whom were especially lighthearted during the arguments.
“We wish you a long and happy career in our common calling,” Chief Justice John Roberts told Kavanaugh at the beginning of Tuesday’s arguments, invoking the construction he often uses when publicly offering well wishes to colleagues.
Kavanaugh’s parents, his wife Ashley and their children were also present in the courtroom as was his predecessor, Justice Anthony Kennedy.
Interestingly, while Justice Elena Kagan had herself seemed to express concerns about the continuing legitimacy of the Court because of concerns about whether they would still have that “balance” and “swing vote” which Kennedy had represented, she was very friendly to Kavanaugh.
As is tradition, Kavanaugh was seated at the far right of the bench in the seat reserved for the junior justice. Justice Elena Kagan sat one seat to the left. The pair smiled warmly together and laugh throughout, and shook hands at the end of the proceedings. As dean of Harvard Law School, Kagan hired Kavanaugh to teach a course over the winter term.
Kavanaugh looked ready and clearly prepared, asking several questions during the arguments.
Officials were still concerned about disruptions and protesters after the hysterical mania of leftists pounding and clawing of the doors of the Court on Saturday while Kavanaugh was being sworn in.
Fear that lingering anger would erupt during Tuesday’s proceedings was palpable, particularly as a court officer delivered the official admonition to remain seated and silent with unusual forcefulness. A smattering of protesters, some of whom wore handmaid costumes, demonstrated in front of the court’s marble plaza in the morning. But as arguments began, a genial and orderly mood prevailed.
The first case involved the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), a federal law enhancing sentences for repeat offenders, which has caused them lots of consternation in the past. As Justice Alito noted, laughing. “You might have gotten a hint that a majority of the Court really hates ACCA and is picking it apart bit by bit by bit.”
The first case, Stokeling v. U.S., concerns a provision of the ACCA that requires a sentence enhancement for criminals with previous convictions for violent felonies. Stokeling asks whether felony convictions under state law that involve minimal force count for enhancement.
Alito asked if the ACCA’s definition of “violent felony” reaches shoving, grabbing or pinching. Justice Sonia Sotomayor followed up on this point, turning to her right to pinch Justice Neil Gorsuch, who reacted with good-natured surprise.
Sounds like even while Democrats are attacking the Court, the Court is welcoming Kavanaugh with open arms and modeling proper behavior.