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Elena Kagan

Newly seated Justice Kavanaugh joins questioning during first oral argument

Newly seated Justice Kavanaugh joins questioning during first oral argument

Justice Brett Kavanaugh took his seat on the Supreme Court for the first time Tuesday and quickly joined the questioning as justices struggled to make sense of a federal law that imposes longer prison terms on criminals who have three violent felonies on their records.

At 10 a.m., the justices emerged from behind the chamber’s red velvet curtain, and Kavanaugh, after surviving one of the ugliest Senate confirmation battles in modern history, took his seat at the far end of the bench next to Justice Elena Kagan. They laughed and chatted until the argument got underway.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. paused at the start to welcome the court’s new member. “Justice Kavanaugh,...

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