Kavanaugh Defends Judicial Record As Democrats Seek Answers On Hot-Button Issues

“Handmaids” are protesting at Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing
Democrats demand delay of Supreme Court justice hearing
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06 September, 2018

Harris asked. Kavanaugh said the words were his own.

On abortion, Mr Kavanaugh said he understood people's strong feelings and he described Roe v Wade as "an important precedent of the Supreme Court that has been reaffirmed many times".

Kavanaugh said he would not have any trouble ruling against the president who nominated him to the high court, praising justices who had done so in the past.

"I can't give you an answer on that hypothetical question", he said.

"They were ideas of Congress to consider, they were not my constitutional views", he said of the article. "So sad to see!"

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), for one, has said some of the emails Republicans have restricted to senators show that Kavanaugh may have lied under oath in past committee hearings.

Moments after Grassley opened the session, Democrats decried the withholding of the documents and asked to have the proceedings adjourned.

"We don't rewrite those laws", he said, adding the executive branch also should not rewrite law.

Despite interruptions, senators plunged into their initial opportunity to publicly question Kavanaugh in what was expected to be a marathon day of examination. "We are not working with the Democrats, we are working with ourselves!" one shouted as police removed her.

Democrats say they have considerable misgivings about Kavanaugh's pledge to be nonpartisan, saying he has a history of conservative political activism. Grassley ignored the Democrats' request to halt the hearing, saying the demand was "out of order" and accused them of obstruction. "It is about Democratic senators re-litigating the 2016 election". Richard Blumenthal of CT, "selecting a justice on the Supreme Court who potentially will cast a decisive vote in his own case". Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., if he had ever "come across memos from internal files of any Democratic members given to you or provided to you in any way" to which Kavanaugh responded that he had not.

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Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) called the hearing a "charade" and "a mockery of our norms".

Under George W Bush, he served as deputy White House counsel and, from 2003-06, as Mr Bush's staff secretary. Senate Democrats have vowed a fierce fight.

The BBC's Gary O'Donoghue, in Washington, says the investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation in the 2016 election has raised important constitutional questions about the extent to which an incumbent president can be forced to co-operate.

Democrats have raised concerns that if the special counsel investigation were to make its way to the supreme court, Kavanaugh could not be impartial toward the president who appointed him. They're also asserting that the Senate is "phoning in" its responsibility to carefully vet judicial nominees, calling the process a "sham".

News photographers clicked pictures of Kavanaugh as he entered the hearing room.

"If I say something and the case comes before me five years from now I'll feel morally bound by what I said here. We shouldn't have to put up with this kind of stuff".

Meanwhile, Republicans remain hopeful they'll have him confirmed before the Supreme Court convenes on October 1. But the Democrat frustrations that boiled over on Tuesday had been simmering for more than two years. Trump's successful first nominee, Neil Gorsuch, also was a Kennedy law clerk the same year as Kavanaugh.

Harris eventually moved on without helping him on either point. Barring surprises, he appears likely to win confirmation in time to take his place on the bench when the Supreme Court begins its fall term next month. I do not decide cases based on personal or policy preferences; I'm not a pro-plaintiff or pro-defendant judge.

"Senator, one of the core principles I've articulated here is the independence of the judiciary, which I know you care deeply about, too", Kavanaugh responded. Should a single Republican oppose Kavanaugh, it could throw his confirmation into jeopardy, although there has been little sign that any GOP senator was prepared to buck the president. And on the most contentious cases, the court tends to split into conservative and liberal sides.


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