Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, and his wife Ashley Kavanaugh, hold hands as they arrive for a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Nominee's attack on Democrats poses risk to Supreme Court

September 28, 2018 - 10:41 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — Brett Kavanaugh's angry denunciation of Senate Democrats at his confirmation hearing could reinforce views of the Supreme Court as a political institution. And this comes at a time when the court already is sharply split between liberals and conservatives.

The Supreme Court nominee called the sexual misconduct allegations against him a "calculated and orchestrated political hit" by Democrats angry that Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election. Kavanaugh went further than Clarence Thomas, who in 1991 attacked the confirmation process but didn't single out a person or political party, when he confronted allegations that he sexually harassed Anita Hill.

The comments injected a new level of bitter partisanship in an already pitched battle over the future of the Supreme Court and replacing Justice Anthony Kennedy, frequently the decisive and swing vote on top issues.

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