Kagan, speaking alongside fellow Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor, on Friday emphasized the importance of maintaining the court's legitimacy "especially in this time where the rest of the political environment is so divided".
John Paul Stevens, a retired United States Supreme Court justice who was appointed by former President Gerald Ford, on Thursday issued a stunning statement about Brett Kavanaugh's temperament, telling "a small crowd in Boca Raton that Judge Brett Kavanaugh's performance at confirmation hearings should disqualify him", the Palm Beach Post's Lulu Ramadan reports.
Stevens is quoted as saying, "I feel his performance in the hearings ultimately changed my mind".
Stevens specifically singled out Kavanaugh's politically-charged invective as a reason for his decision to part ways with Kavanaugh, adding that many commenters have predicted it would result in bias from Kavanaugh's eventual opinions were he to serve on the court.
Stevens reflected on how there was a time he thought Kavanaugh had the qualifications to sit on the Supreme Court and should be confirmed.
"In the last, really 30 years, starting with Justice O'Connor and continuing with Justice Kennedy, there has been a person who found the center or people couldn't predict in that sort of way".
On Thursday, Stevens noted that both senators and commentators said Kavanaugh's defense of his reputation crossed a line. But before he could, Stevens "actually brought the subject up", Cerabino said.
Appointed by President Gerald Ford, Stevens retired from the Court in 2010 after serving for almost 35 years. Stevens even once praised Kavanaugh directly in a book he wrote in 2014.
Kavanaugh and his allies have touted the recognition the judge received from Stevens regarding a decision on whether foreigners may contribute to USA political campaigns.
Like nearly every other current member of the Supreme Court, Stevens also has hired a former Kavanaugh clerk to work for him.