But the president has been true to form.
Within a half hour of the start of his first oral argument on the Supreme Court Tuesday, Kavanaugh had already proved he wouldn't be a silent presence on the bench like Justice Clarence Thomas, who went through a similarly bruising confirmation process in 1991 but was famously quiet during questioning.
He used the swearing in ceremony to announce he had "no bitterness" over his bruising nomination process as he vowed to be a "team player".
"On behalf of our nation, I want to apologize to Brett and the entire Kavanaugh family for the bad pain and suffering you have been forced to endure", Trump said, addressing the bitter partisan fight over Kavanaugh's nomination that became a firestorm after the emergence of sexual misconduct allegations, which Kavanaugh emphatically denied. It capped a fight that seized the national conversation after claims emerged that Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted women three decades ago. But critics said Kavanaugh's demeanor before the Senate Judiciary Committee raised questions about his temperament and potential political bias in deciding cases. He looked over to his family, sitting a few feet away in the guest gallery. The other eight justices are all in attendance.
Kavanaugh was sworn in by retired Justice Anthony Kennedy after he officially became a member of the high court Saturday.
"We wish you a long and happy career in our common calling", Roberts said.
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The climactic 50-48 roll call vote Saturday on Kavanaugh was the closest vote to confirm a justice since 1881.
With justices seated by seniority, President Donald Trump's two appointees will flank the Supreme Court bench, Justice Neil Gorsuch at one end and Kavanaugh at the other. Independent analysts have said widespread discontent with Trump and the Republican Party could lead to Democrats winning as many as 40 seats. Several-dozen protesters outside the court were outnumbered by the more than a hundred people waiting in line to attend the public session inside.
In court, Kavanaugh asked questions of both sides in arguments over increased prison sentences for repeat offenders.
Kavanaugh jumped in, asking a series of questions during the proceedings. "On the Supreme Court I will seek to be a force for stability and unity". He glanced a couple of times over to the guest gallery. One of the two cases involves the detention of immigrants, an issue on which Kavanaugh's vote could be key. Lacy had been working at the White House in support of Kavanaugh's nomination. His tweet has since gone viral, and he is not the only civilian with a name in the news.
The high court now has five conservative justices and four liberals. Alito will now get the space where Kennedy worked. He will take notes for the justices when they meet for private conferences.
The case argued today is Stokeling v. USA (17-5554). The 2-1 ruling threw out the rule issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency during Obama's presidency. The justices will make that decision in the coming days.