USA president Donald Trump has apologised to new Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and his family for the "terrible suffering" they were "forced" to endure, saying the "fair-minded" judge deserves a dignified evaluation and not a campaign based on lies and deception. Kavanaugh is accompanied by his wife Ashley Kavanaugh, third from left, and children Margaret, second from left, and Liza. Kavanaugh was narrowly confirmed by the Senate in a 50-48 vote last Saturday.
The other eight justices are all in attendance for Monday's swearing-in, which is entirely ceremonial.
Kavanaugh officially became a member of the high court Saturday.
"What happened to the Kavanaugh family violates every notion of fairness, decency and due process", the president said in his remarks at the swearing in.
In an interview with The Associated Press Wednesday, McConnell said any replacement to Sessions is "not going to come from our caucus, I can tell you that".
"The Supreme Court is a team of nine".
After an extra Federal Bureau of Investigation probe－which media reports say was drastically curtailed by the White House－also found nothing new, Kavanaugh was finally voted into the coveted post. He called the dearth of women Republican candidates winning elections "a great frustration" and said those in the Senate now "just haven't been interested" in serving on the panel that confirms judges and justices.
Governor Rick Scott declares state of emergency ahead of Tropical Storm Michael
Despite approaching Florida from the Gulf Coast side, Tropical Storm Michael is expected to have some impact on Northeast Florida. Roy Cooper warned that Michael could bring moderate storm surge, downed trees and power outages to his sodden state.
Before his defence of Justice Kavanaugh, Mr Trump said he would not be firing Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, over claims in the New York Times that he questioned the president's fitness for office. Some even speculated anger over Democrats' treatment of Kavanaugh would spur GOP voters even more.
Independent court analysts, however, predict Kavanaugh is likely to concur with more conservative interpretations of the law, giving a solid 5-4 ideological edge on the court to those who lean to the right. Mr Trump has spent the past few days relishing Mr Kavanaugh's confirmation, which appeared in doubt as recently as last week after three women made sexual assault allegations against the nominee.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, speaks to reporters as he leaves the chamber following a procedural vote to advance the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, at the Capitol in Washington, Oct. 5, 2018.
Kavanaugh denied the allegations and during a Senate hearing on September 27 accused Democrats of an "orchestrated political hit".
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.
Kavanaugh's nomination as a replacement for retired justice Anthony Kennedy - long seen as a key swing vote - was controversial from the start.
Now, with Kavanaugh on the bench, Democrats seem to be the angry ones. Murkowski voted against advancing Kavanaugh's nomination and "present" on the final vote.