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

The Washington Post reports, senators wanted to cut off the confirmation hearings for Kavanaugh because of the 42,000 pages of documents sent to the Judiciary Committee on Monday from Kavanaugh's time in the White House under George W. Bush.

Pressed by Democratic Senator Dick Durbin, Kavanaugh defended a ruling he took part in issuing an order preventing a 17-year-old illegal immigrant detained by U.S. authorities in Texas from immediately having an abortion. In his testimony Tillis blamed Democrats for their lack of preparedness. "Yes, of course he will", Mrs. Clinton tweeted Wednesday, as the judge prepared for his first questions at the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Republicans said at the end of August that they had received 415,000 pages of documents, of which it had deemed 147,000 to be "committee confidential", meaning they could be viewed by any senator but not publicly disclosed.

Yet my own favorite moment was Judge Kavanaughs answer to a question from Senator Mike Lee of Utah. As protesters interrupted repeatedly, Kavanaugh said that a good judge is independent, citing cases such as Brown v. Board of Education and United States v. Nixon, in which courts issued unpopular rulings despite political or public pressure. "These opinions are the single most important factor on his resume, and I hope my colleagues have taken the time to review these cases".

Kavanaugh said he would have a "completely open mind" if the legal issues came before him as a judge.

Majority Republicans can confirm Kavanaugh without any Democratic votes, though they'll have little margin for error.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) questioned him about his view that a ban on semi-automatic assault weapons is unconstitutional. "But we're also able to conduct our hearing the way it should be conducted".

At one point, Sen.

Republicans also have released some, but not all, of the existing documents concerning Kavanaugh's two prior years as a lawyer in the White House Counsel's Office under Bush. And on the most contentious cases, the court tends to split into two sides, conservative and liberal.

Clearly, in the senator's eyes, Congress isn't doing what the public has elected them to do, and this failure of the body to do its job has led directly to the divided, heated hearings we see every time a potential Supreme Court justice is up for confirmation these days.

"I'm not going to answer hypothetical questions of that sort", Kavanaugh said in response to a question from Sen.

Republicans will hold a slim 51-49 majority in the Senate once Jon Kyl, the former Arizona senator, is sworn in to fill the seat held by the late Sen.

Republicans also a year ago reduced the margin for advancing Supreme Court nominations from 60 votes in the 100-seat Senate to a simple majority in order to force through the confirmation of Trump's first high court nominee, Neil Gorsuch.

As an example of precedent, he cited USA v Nixon, the Supreme Court's unanimous 1974 ruling that president Richard Nixon was required to comply with a subpoena seeking the Watergate tapes.

A senior Republican aide confirmed that the committee can continue to meet with the Senate having adjourned. The California senator went on to explore the nominee's attitudes toward the cases that established the constitutional basis for Roe v. Wade - and again Kavanaugh retreated behind a narrow conception of Supreme Court precedents.

Mr Kavanaugh, 53, who faces a four-day confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, was also pressed on his approach to gun rights and the law around abortion. The court begins its next term in October. "Under our system of government, the executive branch is subject to the law, subject to the court system". Independent Sen. Angus King of ME also stopped in for part of the session.

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