Retired Justice Stevens: Kavanaugh should not be confirmed

Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens on Thursday said he does not believe that President Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh should be confirmed to the high court.

Stevens told a small crowd in Boca Raton, Fla., he once believed Kavanaugh to be qualified, but his performance in Senate Judiciary hearings changed his mind, according to the Palm Beach Post

"I've changed my views for reasons that have no relationship to his intellectual ability," Stevens said, noting Kavanaugh's fiery denial of sexual misconduct accusations in a Senate Judiciary hearing last week.

"The Senators should pay attention to this," Stevens added.

Stevens said that criticism over Kavanaugh's temperament for the court following the heated testimony before the panel had "merit."

Kavanaugh's nomination has been mired by three women accusing him of varying degrees of sexual misconduct from when he was in high school and college.

Kavanaugh has fiercely denied all the allegations.

Last week, Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, the first of the three accusers, testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

Kavanaugh offered a blistering denial of any wrongdoing and often engaged in tense exchanges with Democrats on the committee. At one point he asked Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) if she had ever blacked out from drinking after she asked him the same question. 

The nominee's conduct during the hearing caught the attention of many on the left, who cited his temperament as another reason to vote "no" on his confirmation. Klobuchar later said that if she "was in his courtroom and acted like that, he would have thrown me out."

The FBI returned results of a nearly weeklong investigation into the allegations to the Senate on Thursday.

Senate Republicans claim that there was no corroborating evidence for any of the claims against Kavanaugh and have vowed to confirm the nominee in a vote over the weekend.

Stevens, a nominee of former President Ford (R), retired in 2010. He was replaced by President Obama (D) nominee Elena Kagan.