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Retired Supreme Court Justice Kennedy Silent On Kavanaugh Confirmation

Steve Yeater / AP Photo

Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy delivers the keynote speech during a luncheon held for high school civics students in Sacramento, Calif., on Friday, Sept. 28, 2018.

Steve Yeater / AP Photo

Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy spent about a half-hour talking about the U.S. Constitution and its impact around the world at an appearance in Sacramento Friday. But he spent no time talking about the vacancy he left on the court or his former clerk, Brett Kavanaugh, who has been nominated to fill it.

Christine Blasey Ford has publicly accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they both were teenagers at a party. He denied the accusation before the U.S. Senate Judicial Committee Thursday.

At the Senate’s request, President Donald Trump ordered the FBI to conduct a follow-up investigation and gave them a week to complete it.

Kennedy was at the federal courthouse in Sacramento to address a group of high school students, teachers, and local judges. The library and learning center at the courthouse bears Kennedy’s name.

He urged the students to engage in public discourse, but when asked by Capital Public Radio why he declined to speak about the confirmation proceedings in the U.S. Senate, Kennedy said, “Maybe you asked why I don’t comment is why I don’t comment as to why I don’t comment.”

He was then whisked away by handlers and security.

Isabel Penman,17, from NP3 High School in Natomas, thought Kennedy’s speech was “amazing.”

“Awesome opportunity for especially the students to be here, and not just Justice Kennedy but meeting all the other judges in appellate court and trial courts,” Penman said.

Kennedy went through the preface to the U.S. Constitution word by word, which U.S. District Court Judge Kimberly J. Mueller found enthralling.

“I’ve never heard him break down the preface," she said."To have him recite it from memory and explain it, it’s very moving.”

Bob Moffitt

Sacramento Region Reporter

Bob reports on all things northern California and Nevada. His coverage of police technology, local athletes, and the environment has won a regional Associated Press and several Edward R. Murrow awards.   Read Full Bio 

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