Police remove a protester during U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Wednesday. Republicans want to put Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court before the November midterm elections.
The 53-year-old judge, who serves on the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, sat impassively for almost seven hours of senators' statements before speaking for less than 20 minutes.
But Kavanaugh told senators during his confirmation hearing on Wednesday that he could not comment on that case because it is still pending. They do not caucus in separate rooms. "A judge must interpret the Constitution as written, informed by history and tradition and precedent", he said. "I would always strive to be a team player on the team of nine".
He differed with a White House characterization of his record on government regulations. Kennedy said that he is looking for a judge to protect the Bill of Rights. "So sad to see!"
Trump, could face a subpoena in the case, and the top Democrat on the committee, Sen.
"They are widely possessed in the United States, senator, and they are used and possessed", Kavanaugh responded.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, was able to deliver his opening remarks for only a few seconds before Democratic California Sen.
If confirmed by a Senate controlled narrowly by Trump's fellow Republicans, Kavanaugh is expected to move the court - which already had a conservative majority - further to the right. The Supreme Court's new term begins October 1. Given that he's Trump's nominee, many people on the left are fearful he would vote to weaken or overturn the law. Their theme: The Republicans are hiding something by withholding information.
Addressing some of those concerns, Kavanaugh said that "the first thing that makes a good judge is independence, not being swayed by political or public pressure", He cited historic court cases including Brown v. Board of Education that desegregated schools and USA v. Nixon that compelled the president to turn over the Watergate tapes - a ruling that Kavanaugh had previously questioned.
Trump has often criticized the federal judiciary. The facts involve a group of workers who believed that they had been underpaid in violation of wage and hours laws and wanted to join together to have a stronger claim. He added that "many of the questions you will get on the other side of the aisle and from me" will center on separation of powers.
And yesterday we didn't really get too much of a sense of Judge Kavanaugh, because all we had was a prepared statement by him and a lot of skirmishing about other things.
Leahy was referring to the documents on Kavanaugh's career that have been withheld without explanation from the public and Congress altogether.
In early August, the National Archives, which holds or has access to many records related to Kavanaugh's time working for Bush and independent counsel Kenneth Starr, said it could not produce all of the Kavanaugh-related documents requested by the Senate until the end of October.
Tuesday's proceedings brought to the surface years of anger over judicial nominees. "There's no reason Brett Kavanaugh couldn't have given a straight answer", she tweeted. Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein asked during the second day of Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings. I am not a pro-plaintiff or pro-defendant judge. In response to Grassley's first question, about what makes a good judge, he invoked his mother, herself a judge.
The 53-year-old Kavanaugh, no stranger to Washington politics, sat stone-faced throughout. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) while interrupting Grassley, referring to the September 3 release to the committee of 42,000 documents relating to the nominee's work with past administrations.
As for the back-and-forth that took up a majority of Tuesday morning's hearing, Grassley says the work the committee does on a regular basis shows a bipartisan spirit that sometimes is lacking during televised hearings.