Speed Reads

Kavanaugh Confirmation

Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens says Kavanaugh's performance during hearings was disqualifying

While once supportive of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, John Paul Stevens is no longer a fan.

The retired Supreme Court justice said on Thursday that he thought Kavanaugh "had the qualifications," but has changed his mind, The Palm Beach Post reported. Stevens, speaking at a small event in Florida, said that Kavanaugh's conduct during his Senate Judiciary Committee hearings was disqualifying.

Stevens was a Supreme Court justice between 1975 and 2010, the third-longest time on the bench in history. Despite being a lifelong Republican, Stevens has sometimes agreed with more liberal-minded justices. Shortly after the February shooting in Parkland, Florida, Stevens penned an op-ed arguing for the repeal of the Second Amendment.

Stevens on Thursday noted that his change of heart wasn't based on political preference; Palm Beach Post reporter Lulu Ramadan says he even praised Kavanaugh's judicial record in a book he once wrote. But "his performance in the hearings changed my mind," he said. Kavanaugh told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he believed allegations of sexual misconduct were a conspiracy concocted by Democrats who wanted to dismantle his nomination as "revenge on behalf of the Clintons." Stevens said that kind of partisan influence on the judicial branch "is worse" than ever before. "Senators should pay attention to this," he said.