Saturday July 4th, 2020 6:09AM

The Latest: Kavanaugh promises to be 'team player' on court

By The Associated Press
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh (all times local):

7:30 p.m.

New Justice Brett Kavanaugh says the Supreme Court "is not a partisan or political institution," and is promising to "always be a team player on a team of nine."

The Senate vote approving Kavanaugh's nomination followed a bitter partisan fight that became a firestorm after sexual misconduct allegations emerged. He emphatically denied the allegations.

Kavanaugh is describing the confirmation process as "contentious and emotional" but says he has "no bitterness."

Kavanaugh says all four of the clerks who will work for him at the high court are women.

He was sworn in by retired Justice Anthony Kennedy at an entirely ceremonial event Monday at the White House. Kavanaugh officially became a member of the high court Saturday. The other eight justices are all in attendance.

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7:17 p.m.

Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh has been sworn in —again — at an event at the White House, but not before President Donald Trump slammed Kavanaugh's opponents for a "campaign of personal destruction."

Trump is apologizing to Kavanaugh and his family for "the terrible suffering you have been forced to endure."

He says that "under historic scrutiny," Kavanaugh was "proven innocent."

The bitter partisan fight over Kavanaugh's nomination became a firestorm after sexual misconduct allegations emerged involving Kavanaugh. He emphatically denied the allegations.

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. Kavanaugh already has been at the Supreme Court preparing for his first day on the bench Tuesday.

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11:10 a.m.

President Donald Trump says newly confirmed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was "caught up in a hoax that was set up by the Democrats."

Trump says allegations of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh were "all made up, it was fabricated and it's a disgrace."

Kavanaugh was accused by several women of sexual misconduct, including a California professor who testified under oath that he tried to assault her at a high school party decades ago. Kavanagh adamantly denied the allegations.

Trump had once said he found her testimony credible.

Trump says he thinks many Democrats will vote Republican in next month's midterm elections because they're angry about Kavanaugh's treatment.

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12:35 a.m.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is leaving the door open to taking up a nomination to the Supreme Court if a seat becomes vacant in the 2020 presidential election season.

The Kentucky Republican made the remark after winning a hard-fought battle to confirm President Donald Trump's second high-court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.

In early 2016, McConnell refused to set hearings for President Barack Obama's last nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, saying the seat left open by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia should be filled by the winner of that year's election.

McConnell says an election-year vacancy isn't filled if the party controlling the Senate is different from the party of the president.

McConnell appeared on "Fox News Sunday" and CBS' "Face the Nation."

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