Democrats disrupt start of Kavanaugh hearing with protest over withheld documents

Typically, a certain number of passes are given to members of the public who wish to attend the hearings.

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Senior Democrat Dianne Feinstein questioned in her opening remarks on Tuesday whether the nominee would leave the landmark Roe v Wade abortion law untouched if confirmed.

“That’s a hypothetical question”.

Feinstein later slammed Kavanaugh for ducking the question.

In another consequential exchange, Kavanaugh would not say if a president was legally obligated to comply with a subpoena. “There’s no reason Brett Kavanaugh couldn’t have given a straight answer”, she tweeted.

Trump has denied any such collusion and has repeatedly called Mueller’s investigation a “witch hunt.”

That is apparently a reference to Kavanaugh’s opinion in in Seven-Sky v. Holder, a dissent Kavanaugh wrote in 2011 while on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which challenged the individual mandate provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The president’s repeated efforts to undermine the Russian Federation investigation – and threats to dismiss the special counsel – have amplified the potential for the matter to eventually reach the courts.

Democrats, including several senators poised for 2020 presidential bids, had tried to block the formal proceedings Tuesday in a dispute over Kavanaugh records withheld by the White House.

Many reports claimed that Judge Kavanaugh thought the president was above the law.

Kavanaugh has been prepping intensively in recent weeks but he held his last, full-day mock hearing last Monday, the White House aide said.

Grassley first asked for Kavanaugh’s general understanding of how judges should handle precedent (also known as the judicial doctrine of stare decisis). A nominee who has actually written, that the president, on his own, can declare laws unconstitutional.

Trump has repeatedly criticized the federal judiciary when he doesn’t get his way in a case, such as when the courts struck down his initial Muslim travel bans. He fiercely defended the independence of the Judiciary. Kavanaugh did not shake his hand.

“Of course the violence in the schools is something we all detest and want to do something about”, Mr Kavanaugh said, but added that handguns and other semi-automatic weapons were also used for hunting and self-defence.

“Respect for precedent is important”.

Questioned during his confirmation hearing about the case, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts told senators at the time that it was “settled as a precedent of the court”. But with Trump’s fellow Republicans holding a slim Senate majority, and no sign of defections in the Republican ranks, it remains likely Kavanaugh will be confirmed to the lifetime job on the top US judicial body.

To shut the public out of the hearing room is only another barrier to the kind of transparency protestors and Democratic Senators alike are calling for.

Under intense scrutiny are his decisions over the past 11 years as a judge on the US Court of Appeals in Washington, as well as his previous roles as a legal adviser to former president George W. Bush and a participant in a special counsel probe that led to the impeachment of former president Bill Clinton.

If no Democrat ultimately supports the nomination, the Republicans have no margin for error in a Senate they control by 50-49.

The controversy over the documents has been growing for weeks, as Republicans try to seat Kavanaugh in time for the Supreme Court term that begins in October, and Democrats seek to push the process beyond the midterm elections when they hope to regain majorities in Congress.

This is a mockery and a travesty of justice! Kennedy, who retired in July, was the perennial deciding vote on 5-4 cases, usually siding with the four conservatives but swinging to the liberals’ side on abortion, affirmative action, gay rights and other social issues.

Democrats and Republicans squabbled over documents withheld from the 53-year-old Washington D.C. native’s years working for Republican causes.

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“Brett Kavanaugh is an extremist ideologue who, if confirmed to the Supreme Court, will take away women’s basic rights”.

Democrats disrupt start of Kavanaugh hearing with protest over withheld documents