• Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens spoke to a group of retirees in Boca Raton, Florida, on Thursday.
  • During the talk, the 98-year-old was asked his thoughts on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
  • Stevens said he previously thought Kavanaugh “had the qualifications” to sit on America’s highest court, but said his behavior at the hearings “ultimately changed my mind.”

Retired Supreme Court justice John Paul Stevens suggested Thursday that Brett Kavanaugh doesn’t have the right temperament to sit on America’s highest court.

Speaking at a event for retirees in Boca Raton, Florida, the 98-year-old retired justice was asked his opinion on Kavanaugh.

Stevens, a lifelong Republican, said that he actually praised one of Kavanaugh’s decision in his 2014 book “Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Condition.”

“At that time, I thought (Kavanaugh) had the qualifications for the Supreme Court should he be selected,” Stevens said, according to the Palm Beach Post.“I’ve changed my views for reasons that have no relationship to his intellectual ability…I feel his performance in the hearings ultimately changed my mind.”

Kavanaugh was widely criticized for his behavior in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, when he defended himself against accusations lodged by Christine Blasey Ford, who says Kavanaugh attempted to rape her when they were both in high school.

At one point during the hearing, he called the Democrat’s behavior during his nomination process “an embarrassment,” which led to the left to accuse Kavanaugh of showing bias not appropriate for the court. Even Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, who sided with Democrats in pushing for an FBI investigation, said that “we can’t have” that kind of partisanship on the court.

“I think there’s merit to that criticism and I think the senators should pay attention to that,” Stevens said.

Stevens retired from the Supreme Court in 2010, after serving for more than 35 years. He was unanimously confirmed by the Senate in 1975 after being nominated to the court by President Gerald Ford. Justice Elena Kagan, who was nominated by President Barack Obama, filled his seat.


Throughout his tenure as a Supreme Court justice, Stevens made some controversial decisions. Though a Republican, he sided with the liberal judges in dissenting on Bush v. Gore. In his retirement, he has called for the Second Amendment to be repealed.