Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, whose confirmation hearing sparked bitter partisanship in the Senate, thanked attendees of a private Federalist Society event in Washington, D.C., Thursday night for their support and vowed to continue his work on the bench unfazed.
In particular, he praised school-age friends who stood by him a year ago during the contentious hearings in which he was accused of sexual misconduct as a teen and during his college years.
During those hearings, Kavanaugh told the audience, he often repeated to himself the lyrics of a church hymn, “Be Not Afraid,” which he said he heard a number of times while attending Georgetown Preparatory School near Bethesda, Md.
“My friends paid a heavy price, way too heavy a price,” Kavanaugh said. “In the midst of it all, they stood up and they stood by me.”
He added, “I will always be not afraid.”
The justice said that his message was one of “gratitude” as he graciously thanked those who worked on his behalf during the nomination process, as well as his colleagues on the Supreme Court.
“I’ve been coming to these convention dinners for more than 25 years,” Kavanaugh said. “I have always been a proud [member] of the Federalist Society.”
Some 2,300 attendees moved past a group of protesters outside the venue at Union Station to listen to Kavanaugh, who gave the keynote address at the group’s annual D.C. convention.
Protesters carried #ImpeachKavanaugh signs which bore the imprint of a liberal advocacy group called Demand Justice, as they shouted at attendees who filed in.
The group also set up a large screen TV outside the Union Station entrance and played a video loop of primary Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, President Trump’s first Supreme Court appointee, and Justice and Samuel A. Alito, appointed to the high court by President George W. Bush, also attended the event.