US senators question Kavanaugh about his record and legal positions

US senators question Kavanaugh about his record and legal positions

Coons suggested he wouldn't be willing to hold a president accountable to the law, and asked Kavanaugh about a judicial opinion Kavanaugh wrote bashing the independent counsel law. But senators then plunged into their initial opportunity to publicly question him in what was expected to be a marathon day of examination.

Senate Democrats have vowed a fierce fight to block Kavanaugh's nomination.

Rebuffed in their request to delay the hearing, Democrats are planning to shine a light on Kavanaugh's views on abortion, executive power, and whether Trump could be forced to testify as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation.

"I think the first quality of a good judge in our constitutional system is independence", Kavanaugh added. He said that the 1970s case legalizing abortion, Roe v. Wade, is "settled law".

Trump picked Kavanaugh, 53, to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, who announced his retirement in June.

Hatch asked Kavanaugh about the Chevron doctrine, which takes its name from a 1980s Supreme Court decision that instructs federal courts to defer to a government agency's interpretation of ambiguous law.

The Context: Kavanaugh's confirmation would tip the balance of the Supreme Court for a generation, and will have wide-ranging ramifications for women's reproductive rights, civil rights, workers' rights, human rights in general, healthcare (pre-existing conditions), as well as the rule of law. Such as it was this morning, when dozens of women dressed in bright red robes and large white head covers silently met Brett Kavanaugh and the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington. The hearing was disrupted by angry shouts from members of the public and lawmakers alike.




Democrats have warned that Mr Trump's choice will usher in a more socially conservative approach to abortion, gay rights and gun control. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., theatrically pulled out a copy of the Constitution and said he could not find the name of William Burck in the section where it says Congress should provide "advice and consent" to nominations. And that means he's been asked to answer for some of that White House's most controversial decisions - torture, detention, the Iraq War, Bush staffers who resigned over hacking of Senate Democrats' emails. Majority Republicans can confirm Kavanaugh without any Democratic votes, though they'll have little margin for error.

"There are battles worth fighting, regardless of the outcome", Sen. Grassley gaveled the committee to order Tuesday. It is not even certain all Democrats will stick together since endangered liberal senators up for re-election in red states are under intense pressure to back the confirmation.

The controversy surrounding Brett Kavanaugh and his nomination to the Supreme Court - and the reason why Perabo and others were protesting - stems from the Trump Administration's lack of disclosure as to Kavanaugh's record in the White House.

On the eve of the hearing Monday night, the Senate was given an additional 42,000 pages of documents, prompting criticism from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

As protesters repeatedly interrupted the session, Republican Sen. Grassley says the documents are "irrelevant" to Kavanaugh's qualifications as a judge.

"It is about politics", said Cruz. "[Our] goals for this midterm election is to ensure we maximize voter anticipation across the country, so that the outcome of this upcoming election will be that democracy works for all, and particularly African-Americans". Abortion rights supporters are trying to appeal to those senators, who both favour abortion access.

Associated Press writers Jessica Gresko and Ken Thomas contributed.

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