Ruth Bader Ginsburg praises Brett Kavanaugh as 'very decent' man

Clark Mindock

Liberal Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has defended the two most recent additions to America’s highest court as “very decent, very smart” individuals, in spite of ongoing controversy surrounding their nomination.

Ms Ginsburg defended justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch, on Wednesday during a Q&A with a former law clerk of hers, Neil Siegel, at Duke University.

The defence came after Mr Siegel suggested to her that “nominees for the Supreme Court are not chosen primarily anymore for independence, legal ability, [and] personal decency, and I wonder if that’s a loss for all of us.”

Ms Ginsburg responded then: “My two newest colleagues are very decent, very smart individuals.”

Mr Gorsuch and Mr Kavanaugh were both nominated to the court by Donald Trump, and both attracted their fair share of criticism.

Mr Gorsuch, who was the president’s first Supreme Court nominee, was controversial from the beginning, after Republicans in the Senate held his seat open for months at the end of Barack Obama’s presidency, breaking from tradition in nominating new justices.

Mr Kavanaugh’s controversy stems from his Senate confirmation hearings, when he was accused of sexual misconduct as a high school and college student.

Ms Ginsburg had previously praised Mr Kavanaugh for hiring an all-female law clerk team.