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The return to judicial matters comes after weeks of heated debate over his confirmation in the wake of an allegation from California professor Christine Blasey Ford that he sexually assaulted her when they were high schoolers in suburban Maryland decades ago.

Trump has repeatedly said that putting conservatives on the court - Kavanaugh is his second appointment - was among the top goals of his presidency.

Ford's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee - followed by Kavanaugh's at times tearful and at times angry rebuttal - deepened the partisan divide in the Senate and inspired large protests. What happened to Kavanaugh was "very, very unfair", the president lamented.

Media captionDonald Trump's nominee has been embroiled in a bitter battle over sexual assault allegations. But then-Justice Anthony M. Kennedy - who has now been replaced by Kavanaugh - appeared at least open to eventually adopting a standard that could limit that pernicious tactic, and most observers expect another gerrymandering case to make it to the high court soon.

"On behalf of our nation, I want to apologise to Brett and the entire Kavanaugh family for the bad pain and suffering you have been forced to endure", he said at the ceremony in the ornate White House East Room.

During this historic Supreme Court justice swearing in-cum-Dem-smackdown, Trump said "In our country a man or a woman must always be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty" adding, "And with that, I must state that you sir, under historic, scrutiny were proven innocent".

Speaking at a police convention in Orlando later, the president said the allegations against the justice were "brought about by people that are evil". He once again cast doubt on the women's claims, calling them "lies", following up on assertions he made earlier in the day when he told reporters at the White House that Kavanaugh was "caught up in a hoax that was set up by the Democrats".

Hours before Monday evening's White House event, Trump accused opposition Democrats of already plotting to remove Kavanaugh from the bench.

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Immigration, firearms, and asbestos exposure cases will greet Brett Kavanaugh during his first week as a Supreme Court justice.

"I think a lot of Democrats are going to vote Republican", he said.

Late on Monday, Trump will be able to rub salt into opponents' wounds when he hosts a formal swearing-in ceremony.

"The reality is, right now, Republicans control the House and the Senate, and there's no way to do even an investigation unless we flip one of the houses", replied Booker, a Democrat seen as a potential presidential candidate in 2020. The court will be hearing arguments in two previously little-noticed cases involving the Armed Career Criminal Act, a federal law that imposes heightened penalties on people who repeatedly commit serious crimes.

The Supreme Court is declining to review an environmental ruling written by Brett Kavanaugh in his former role as an appeals court judge.

Kavanaugh, Kimmel noted, was approved by the smallest margin of any Supreme Court Justice since 1881.

But after being sworn in, Kavanaugh struck a markedly more conciliatory tone.


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