Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens said Thursday Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh does not belong on the nation’s highest court, according to the Palm Beach Post.
Stevens said Kavanaugh’s performance during his testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee changed his mind about Kavanaugh’s suitability for the court, according to the report. He added the nominee lacks the temperament for the position, the Post reported.
“At that time, I thought (Kavanaugh) had the qualifications for the Supreme Court should he be selected,” Stevens said, according to the Post, during an event in front of a small crowd in Boca Raton, Florida.
“I’ve changed my views for reasons that have no relationship to his intellectual ability. … I feel his performance in the hearings ultimately changed my mind.”
Stevens, 98, served on the Supreme Court from 1975 until his retirement in 2010. President Gerald Ford nominated Stevens to the court. Stevens was a lifelong Republican but was considered liberal in his judicial rulings.
Kavanaugh and California professor Christine Blasey Ford both testified in front of the Judiciary Committee on September 27 after Ford came forward with an allegation of sexual assault against the judge. The incident allegedly took place when they were both in high school. Kavanaugh denies the allegations.
Stevens said, according to the Palm Beach Post, there is some merit to the criticisms that Kavanaugh displayed a potential for political bias should he serve on the Supreme Court during his hearing.
“I think there’s merit to that criticism and I think the senators should really pay attention that,” Stevens said at a closed event hosted by retirement group, The Institute for Learning.