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Anthony Kennedy, former associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, right, administers the judicial oath to Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh as his wife Ashley Estes Kavanaugh and U.S. President Donald Trump watch during a ceremonial swearing-in event in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Oct. 8, 2018. After surviving one of the most contentious confirmation battles in American history, Kavanaugh faces the challenge of defining himself on the top court and winning the trust of his eight new colleagues.

On Oct. 8, a buzzing crowd of Washington, D.C.’s top lawyers, Justice Department officials and Trump administration figures were gathered in the White House’s East Room to witness the ceremonial oath-taking for the newly confirmed Justice Brett Kavanaugh. President Donald Trump had unveiled the Kavanaugh nomination just three months earlier.

Inside the room, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein greeted former Trump White House lawyer Greg Katsas, now sitting on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, while the country’s top Supreme Court advocates brushed shoulders with political figures. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s Helgi Walker, a prominent Kavanaugh backer, was engrossed in conversation with the American Conservative Union’s Matt Schlapp. Nearby, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer lawyer Lisa Blatt—whose early public endorsement of Kavanaugh drew the ire of liberal crowds—chatted with White House counselor Kellyanne Conway.

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Ellis Kim

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