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Brett Kavanaugh says “there are excellent relationships” between all 9 Supreme Court justices

WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh says the public shouldn’t read anything into the high court’s historically slow start to issuing opinions.

Each year, judges begin hearing cases in October and generally finish their work by the end of June before going on summer vacation. This mandate, however, passed more than three months without resolving any case in which they heard arguments. On Monday, the justices finally announced a unanimous decision in one case and rejected another.

Some observers have wondered whether the slow pace could be the result of a variety of factors: a change in the court’s makeup with the addition of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, less consensus on a deeply divided bench or the fallout from a draft deadline leak final. in the case that overturned half a century of abortion rights.

Kavanaugh reduced the pitch’s slow pace.

“I’m confident they’ll all be out by the end of June. So I don’t think anyone needs to worry. … It’s just a coincidence of the mix of cases in October and November,” Kavanaugh said during an appearance at the University of Notre Dame Law School on Monday, the same day the first warrant notice was announced. Kavanaugh was in law school, not on the bench, to hear Judge Amy Coney Barrett announce the opinion in a veterans’ disability case.

Kavanaugh was not questioned during the appearance about the leak of information about last term’s abortion decision, though he mentioned it obliquely, calling the last term “a tough year in court.” Kavanaugh, who ultimately voted to repeal abortion rights, was subject to protests and death threats after the leak.

Additionally, Kavanaugh was not asked about a new documentary examining sexual misconduct allegations against him that emerged during his confirmation hearing in 2018. Kavanaugh has denied the allegations.

Kavanaugh spoke about a number of other topics, including his experience in Catholic schools and how it shaped him, relationships between judges and his experience working for President George W. Bush before becoming a judge. He spoke with Notre Dame Law School Dean G. Marcus Cole during a conversation that lasted about an hour.

“My experience with the court — over the past four and a half years and now — is that there are excellent relationships between all nine judges, both personally and professionally. … We only receive difficult cases. We disagree with some of these. I think this is more nuanced than it seems sometimes,” he said of the court, which is now split 6-3 between conservatives and liberals.

Kavanaugh also took part in a recent controversy over US News & World Report’s law school rankings, which led to boycotts of several major programs.

“I think these assessments are very problematic. They’re based on things, from what I understand, that are very amorphous, very subjective, very word-of-mouth factors that don’t correlate well with the education you’re actually getting,” said Kavanaugh, who studied at Yale Law. School. , the first to withdraw from the ranking.

Although Kavanaugh spoke at Notre Dame on Monday, a video of the appearance was made public for the first time on Thursday.

Court is currently in recess. The justices will return to court in late February to hear arguments in cases involving President Joe Biden’s student loan cancellation program, two high-profile internet cases and another case involving pandemic-era asylum limits , known as Title 42.

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