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Retired Supreme Court Justice Changes Mind on Kavanaugh

John Paul Stevens says nominee doesn't belong on the high court
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 5, 2018 4:33 AM CDT
Updated Oct 5, 2018 6:33 AM CDT
Protesters against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh gather in the atrium of the Hart Senate Office Building, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
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(Newser) – One of the longest-serving justices in Supreme Court history thinks it would be a mistake to put Brett Kavanaugh on the court. John Paul Stevens, a Republican who served on the court from 1975 to 2010, told a gathering in Florida on Thursday that he had changed his mind about Kavanaugh after praising him in a 2014 book, the Palm Beach Post reports. Stevens said he once thought Kavanaugh "had the qualifications for the Supreme Court," but the nominee's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee altered his view. "I've changed my views for reasons that have no relationship to his intellectual ability," the 98-year-old said. "I feel his performance in the hearings ultimately changed my mind."

Stevens said there was merit in arguments that Kavanaugh had displayed a potential bias big enough that he "would not be able to perform his full responsibilities," CNN reports. "It's not healthy to get a new justice that can only do a part-time job." Kavanaugh defended himself in a Wall Street Journal op-ed ahead of a procedural vote on his nomination in the Senate Friday, the AP reports. Two of three Republican senators who had been wavering signaled Thursday that they were satisfied with the FBI's report on Kavanaugh, while Alaska's Sen. Lisa Murkowski said she was still reviewing her decision. (Read more John Paul Stevens stories.)

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