Ex-Supreme Court justice is no longer a Brett Kavanaugh fan

John Paul Stevens Is Still Alive, Also Doesn't Think Kavanaugh Belongs

Don't Confirm Brett Kavanaugh, Says Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens

To the list of Senate confirmation norms and Supreme Court traditions violated by opponents of Brett Kavanaugh, you can add one more: Public lobbying by a former Supreme Court Justice.

Stevens, who's praised Kavanaugh before, says he's changed his mind about Kavanaugh for reasons unrelated to Kavanaugh's "intellectual ability". I don't think Susan Collins, Jeff Flake, and Lisa Murkowski much care about what retired Supreme Court Justices think.

Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens departs the funeral of U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, February 20, 2016.

"At that time, I thought (Kavanaugh) had the qualifications for the Supreme Court should he be selected", Stevens said at the event hosted by a Palm Beach Post reporter. Democrats and other critics argued that Kavanaugh's testimony raised questions about his temperament and political bias, with some arguing it could be disqualifying.

Stevens is quoted as saying, "I feel his performance in the hearings ultimately changed my mind".

Stevens was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Gerald R. Ford and was known at the time as a moderate conservative.

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Stevens is famously a lifelong Republican-though he just as famously sided with the liberal wing of the court on several hot-button issues over the years.

Stevens said political leaders and the court have failed to fix the nation's confidence in the judicial branch's separation from the president and the Legislature. Since leaving the court, he has suggested repealing the Second Amendment as a response to the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, and has called for revising the Eighth Amendment to abolish the death penalty.

Like nearly every other current member of the Supreme Court, Stevens also has hired a former Kavanaugh clerk to work for him.

The op-ed comes after mounting criticism of Kavanaugh's performance last Thursday.

The Senate is set to vote for cloture tomorrow and confirmation on Saturday.

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