By Lemor Abrams

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — As the debate in Washington raged on over whether to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the high court, the man he’s set to replace, retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, paid a visit to Sacramento to talk to students about democracy and the freedoms in the U.S. Constitution.

Students said the timing couldn’t be better, as the nation seems divided over Kavanaugh. But it’s a topic Kennedy had no interest in talking about, directly at least.

READ MORE: 'I Saw The Suffering In People's Faces: Sacramento Man Finds Strollers For War-Torn Refugees

Kennedy had his men turn us away when we asked Kavanaugh. The Supreme Court nominee was a clerk for Kennedy on the high court over 20 years ago.

So we hoped he’d give us a broader understanding of the courts instead, asking “What was your confirmation hearing like?”  “I’m not on that subject,” he said.

READ MORE: City To Vote On Project That Would Add Speed Bumps To More Sacramento Neighborhoods

When the retired justice took the podium, he spoke to students about civil discourse, the importance of knowing the constitution, and appreciating our freedoms.

“You cant really have a speech right now without talking about what’s happening now,” said Dahlia Elgonemy.

Elgonemy sat next to the Justice during lunch. The student, who won first place on a legal essay, said he spoke to her about his grandchildren, but she still felt he had politics on his mind.

MORE NEWS: Massive Outdoor Recreation Area Nears Opening In Elk Grove

“I’m sure it was it’s been such a hot topic this entire summer and his whole speech, of course, couldn’t directly or explicitly… but I’m sure he was implicitly stating,” she said.