U.S. Supreme Court

Kavanaugh jokes about ‘SNL’ parody of him in first major speech since confirmation

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Justice Kavanaugh

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh thanked his supporters and family Thursday and joked about actor Matt Damon’s portrayal of him on Saturday Night Live in his first major appearance since his confirmation to the high court.

Law360, USA Today, the New York Times and NPR have coverage of his speech, which was in front of members of the Federalist Society, a conservative legal group.

Kavanaugh said his friends risked their jobs and livelihoods when they stuck by him during the tumultuous hearings in which Christine Blasey Ford testified. Ford had alleged that Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed and groped her when they were in high school.

“I signed up for what I knew would be an ugly process—maybe not that ugly—but my friends did not,” he said. “And yet in the midst of it all, they stood up, and they stood by me.”

Kavanaugh became emotional while talking about his daughter Liza, who said prayers for him during the hearings. He followed with a joke: “Matt Damon would have made it through this.”

As he took the stage, Kavanaugh “was greeted by a thunderous standing ovation,” according to New York Times coverage.

Outside, protesters displayed Ford’s testimony on a large mobile TV screen. Their rape whistles twice interrupted Kavanaugh’s speech.

According to USA Today coverage, Kavanaugh “sprinkled his remarks with quips and jokes but little legal substance, other than when he invoked Scalia’s name.”

“Thanks to him, we are all originalists now,” Kavanaugh said of Scalia. “We are all textualists now.”

Law360 highlighted several lighthearted comments by Kavanaugh, including his remarks about adding pizza to the cafeteria menu as part of his work on the cafeteria committee, a job assigned to the court’s newest justice.

“When I arrived, I noticed the cafeteria did not serve pizza,” Kavanaugh said. “I thought, ‘What an outrage.’”

“My legacy is secure. It’s fine by me if I’m ever known as the pizza justice,” he said.

Kavanaugh also noted Justice Elena Kagan’s comment that since Kavanaugh joined the court, there has been an increase in sports talk and a decrease in Shakespeare analysis. “What can I say, ‘To thine own self be true,’” Kavanaugh quipped.

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