Sandra Day O'Connor, David Souter and Anthony Kennedy, whom Kavanaugh was nominated to replace, have not said anything about the nomination process. When asked his opinion on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, whom Stevens had once lauded, he said his views have changed after watching Kavanaugh's hearing. "But I think that his performance during the hearings caused me to change my mind". During the hearing, some of Kavanaugh's testimony appeared blatantly political - in one instance he called the handling of the accusation "a calculated and orchestrated political hit".
At a forum at their alma mater on Friday, Supreme Court Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor anxious about how the bitter partisan battle over the nomination of Brett M. Kavanaugh will affect the high court's reputation.
The U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation on Friday.
Going forward, Kavanaugh said, "you can count on me to be the same kind of judge and person I have been for my entire 28-year legal career: hardworking, even-keeled, open-minded, independent and dedicated to the Constitution and the public good".
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But Stevens, who was an associate justice on the Supreme Court from 1975 to 2010 and gradually shifted to become a reliably liberal justice, suggested Thursday that Kavanaugh went too far in defending himself. For weeks, Kavanaugh said, some Democrats were "lying in wait" with Ford's allegation, ready to use it "only if you couldn't take me out on the merits".
"At that time, I thought (Kavanaugh) had the qualifications for the Supreme Court should he be selected", Stevens said, according to the Post, during an event in front of a small crowd in Boca Raton, Florida. Wrapping up, Stevens says that Senators need to be aware of Kavanaugh's partisan attitudes and that it would be unhealthy to bring on a judge that would "only do a part-time job".
"You can not help but like Clarence Thomas", Stevens said, "which I don't think necessarily would be true of this particular nominee". However, that changed when Dr. Christine Blasey Ford publicly accused him of sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers.
In March, Stevens stirred up a frenzy on the right after he wrote an op-ed for the New York Times calling for the repeal of the Second Amendment in the wake of the March for Our Lives rally in Washington D.C.