Democrats Put Brett Kavanaugh's Time in the White House in the Spotlight

Democrats Put Brett Kavanaugh's Time in the White House in the Spotlight

The week of hearings on Kavanaugh's nomination began with a sense of inevitability that the 53-year-old appellate judge eventually will be confirmed, perhaps in time for the new term on October 1 and little more than a month before congressional elections.

But within moments of Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley banging the gavel, Democrats launched what appeared to be coordinated protests against moving ahead with the hearing on Kavanaugh's lifetime appointment to the highest United States court.

"You are the nominee of President Donald John Trump".

"We weren't even familiar with the hateful symbol being attributed to her for the random way she rested her hand during a long hearing", he said on his official USA attorney twitter account.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., scoffed at Democrats who complained that Kavanaugh is too partisan. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., made a motion to adjourn.

Trump's first nominee to the high court, Neil Gorsuch, was confirmed in April 2017, 14 months after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia created a vacancy in President Barack Obama's a year ago in office.

AP photographer Andrew Harnik shared an arresting image of Guttenberg extending his hand while Kavanaugh looks him in the eye while both hands are occupied buttoning his blazer. "Precedent is rooted right in the Constitution itself".

Questioning of Kavanaugh will not begin until Wednesday.

A source familiar with the encounter said Kavanaugh did not know who Guttenberg was and that security intervened to end the exchange before there could even be a handshake.

If all goes according to Republicans' plans, the committee will vote later this month - nearly surely along straight party lines - to send his nomination to the full Senate in hopes of getting him on the court by the October 1 start of the 2018 term.

Besides, Grassley pointed out, not a single Democratic senator has said he or she will vote to confirm Kavanaugh, so putting off the hearings would be pointless.

"There are battles worth fighting, regardless of the outcome", Sen.


Instead, within seconds of committee chairman Chuck Grassley banging the gavel, Democrats took the unprecedented step of launching immediate and coordinated protests.

Democrat senators regularly interrupted Grassley to demand the committee be suspended until they received all the documents they had requested. They railed against the unusual vetting process by Republicans that failed to include documents from three years Kavanaugh worked in the Bush administration, and 100,000 more pages withheld by the Trump White House. Some 42,000 pages were released to senators only, not the public, on the evening before the hearing.

"We can not possibly move forward".

In a tweet Monday, Trump criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions for the recent indictments of two Republican members of Congress on corruption charges and for the timing, so close to the midterm elections.

Republicans have released some, but not all, of the existing documents concerning Kavanaugh's two prior years as a lawyer in Bush's White House Counsel's Office.

"It is about politics", said Cruz.

The hearing gave Democrats a chance to make their case against Kavanaugh ahead of November's congressional elections, in which they are seeking to seize control of Congress from Trump's fellow Republicans.

Guttenberg attended the confirmation hearing as a guest of Sen.

Like Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) said during her opening remarks Tuesday, I think the Kavanaugh battle is one worth fighting, regardless of the outcome. He occasionally jotted notes on paper.

"During your time in the White House, when you were staff secretary - some people regard it as kind of a monitor, monitoring things going in and going out". Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, at one point called for the removal of a "loudmouth" protester.

"This is a travesty of justice!" shouted one.

Kavanaugh is widely seen as the key to completing Trump's campaign pledge to overturn Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 decision which affirmed that American women have the right to abortion care.

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