The Latest: Kavanaugh hearing begins with partisan rancor
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the Senate hearings on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh (all times local):
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh says the court “must never, never be viewed as a partisan institution.” But his argument came at the end of a marathon day marked by rancorous exchanges between Democrats and Republicans.
Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation hearing began with a sense of inevitability that the 53-year-old appellate judge eventually will be confirmed.
However, the first of at least four days of hearings by the Senate Judiciary Committee began with partisan quarreling over the nomination and persistent protests from members of the audience — followed by their arrests.
On Wednesday, Kavanaugh can expect to spend most of the day in the hot seat, sparring with Democratic senators over abortion, guns, executive power and other high-profile issues.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley says the Senate could confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in time for the new court term that begins Oct. 1.
The Iowa Republican said late Tuesday that the committee could vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination on Sept. 13. Democrats could force a week’s delay, which would result in a final committee vote Sept. 20. A final Senate vote to confirm Kavanaugh could happen later the following week.
For Supreme Court nominations, the Judiciary Committee has traditionally voted to recommend a nominee favorably or unfavorably, giving the full Senate the final say.
Kavanaugh’s first day of confirmation hearings began Tuesday morning and adjourned just before 5 p.m.
The judge is scheduled to begin answering questions from lawmakers Wednesday.
President Donald Trump is accusing Senate critics of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of “looking to inflict pain and embarrassment.”
In a Tuesday tweet sent after a day of opening statements by Kavanaugh and members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Trump says Kavanaugh is “one of the most highly renowned jurists to ever appear before Congress.”
Democratic senators tried unsuccessfully to delay Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing. They used their remarks to question the conservative judge’s past decisions and legal reasoning. Protesters regularly interrupted the daylong proceedings.
Kavanaugh will begin answering questions from senators Wednesday.
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh says it must “never, never be viewed as a partisan institution.”
President Donald Trump’s second nominee to the high court was speaking Tuesday on the first day of his Senate confirmation hearings. Kavanaugh says the “Supreme Court is the last line of defense for the separation of powers, and for the rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution.”
Kavanaugh promises that if confirmed he will “keep an open mind in every case.”
Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee will begin questioning Kavanaugh on Wednesday.
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is praising the man he would replace, Justice Anthony Kennedy.
President Donald Trump’s second nominee to the high court was speaking Tuesday during the first day of his confirmation hearing.
Kavanaugh served as a law clerk to Kennedy from 1993 to 1994 and called him a “mentor, a friend, and a hero.” He says Kennedy “fiercely defended the independence of the Judiciary” and “was a champion of liberty.”
Kennedy was nominated by president Ronald Reagan and took his seat in 1988. He announced his retirement in June.
Kennedy has in recent years often cast the deciding vote in cases where the Supreme Court divided 5-4. Democrats are concerned that if Kavanaugh is confirmed, the Supreme Court will move to the right.
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is praising Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, saying he “listens, especially to those with whom he disagrees.”
Rice made the statement Tuesday in introducing Kavanaugh during the first day of his Senate confirmation hearings. Both Rice and Kavanaugh worked for President George W. Bush.
Rice describes Kavanaugh as “really, really smart” and “hardworking.” She says he “makes those around him better.”
Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio and liberal lawyer Lisa Blatt are also making introductory remarks before Kavanaugh gives an opening statement. Lawmakers will begin questioning Kavanaugh Wednesday.
Rice served as secretary of state from 2005 to 2009.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says Democrats are “running out of options” to block Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
Speaking from the Senate floor, the Kentucky Republican decried what he called the “the hyperventilation and orchestrated antics” of Democrats.
McConnell says Democrats “can’t find any substantive reasons” why Kavanaugh shouldn’t be confirmed and are trying to distract from his “distinguished record.”
Democrats earlier Tuesday sought to delay the confirmation hearings for Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s nominee to replace retired Justice Anthony Kennedy. Democrats said the hearings should not proceed until they have time to review the 42,000 pages from Kavanaugh’s record that were released Monday evening.
Republicans refused and said the hearings will go forward as planned. They hope to confirm Kavanaugh by Oct. 1.
A man whose daughter died in the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., tried to shake the hand of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh during a break in Tuesday’s confirmation hearing.
Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jamie died in the February 2018 attack, approached Kavanaugh after he rose from the witness table for a lunch break. He put out his hand to Kavanaugh, who paused for a moment before turning away as a security guard stepped in. Afterward, Guttenberg tweeted that Kavanaugh “did not want to deal with the reality of gun violence.”
White House spokesman Raj Shah says security intervened before Kavanaugh could shake the hand of the “unidentified individual.”
After the encounter, Capitol Police talked with Guttenberg. He was again sitting in the hearing room for the afternoon session.
Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont says that Brett Kavanaugh “may have intrigued” President Donald Trump because of his expansive view of “executive power and executive immunity.”
Speaking at Tuesday’s confirmation hearing, Leahy says Kavanaugh has espoused the view that presidents should not be burdened with a criminal or civil investigation while in office. He says those views likely haven’t “escaped the attention of President Trump, who seems increasingly fixated on his own ballooning legal jeopardy.”
The senator mentioned a tweet from Trump on Monday that criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions for the federal charges brought against two Republican members of the House before the November election, referring to Reps. Chris Collins of New York and Duncan Hunter of California.
Leahy says the president’s tweet is “Alice in Wonderland.”
The top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee says Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh fits the mold of the “anti-choice and pro-gun” nominee that President Donald Trump had promised to put forward.
California Sen. Dianne Feinstein says Kavanaugh has been quoted as saying the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that established a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion is “settled law.” But she says the question is whether he believes it “is correct law.”
Feinstein referenced an opinion of Kavanaugh’s from last year involving an abortion question. That ruling, she says, shows Kavanaugh is willing to disregard precedent.
Democrats warn that Kavanaugh may be willing to overturn Roe v. Wade if he’s confirmed to the Supreme Court. They plan to press Kavanaugh on the issue when questioning begins on Wednesday.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley has begun giving his opening statements at a hearing for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh after being delayed for over an hour by Democrats requesting a delay to review more documents.
Grassley denied that request Tuesday. In prepared remarks, Grassley says that Kavanaugh is “the kind of judge Americans want on the Supreme Court” and criticizes Democrats for trying “tactic after tactic to delay and obstruct” his confirmation.
Grassley says the confirmation process has been thorough and transparent and that lawmakers have received just under half a million pages of emails and other documents from Kavanaugh’s time working in the White House.
Democrats have criticized Republicans for blocking access to documents from Kavanaugh’s time as White House staff secretary to President George W. Bush.
The top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee is describing “frustration” over the confirmation process for Brett Kavanaugh.
California Sen. Dianne Feinstein says Democrats want to do a good job and are not trying to “create a disruption” by asking for more time to review Kavanaugh’s documents. She says they’re asking: “Majority, give us the time to do our work.”
Feinstein says the hearing Tuesday is taking place under unique circumstances. She says that the man who nominated Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump, faces serious legal problems. She mentions the indictments, guilty pleas and criminal convictions from the Russia investigation.
Republican Chairman Chuck Grassley shut down the Democrats’ request for a delay, vowing Kavanaugh’s hearings will be finished this week.
Shouting protesters opposed to Kavanaugh have repeatedly interrupted the hearing.
Democrats are calling for a delay in the confirmation hearings of Brett Kavanaugh, objecting to the late release of documents the evening before.
Sen. Kamala Harris of California began a round of Democratic objections as Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley tried to open the hearings Tuesday morning. Harris said that Democrats received approximately 40,000 documents that they have not had time to review. Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut also objected, as did Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii. Sen. Corey Booker of New Jersey says, “We are rushing through this process in a way that is unnecessary.”
Grassley responded: “You are taking advantage of my decency and integrity.”
Protesters are also interrupting the hearing. One shouted, “an illegitimate president cannot make a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.”
Confirmation hearings are underway in the Senate for Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s second nominee to the Supreme Court.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa gaveled in the first day of hearings on Tuesday morning. Kavanaugh, his wife, Ashley, and eldest daughter entered the committee room with Grassley just after 9:30 am.
In his opening statement, Kavanaugh vows to be a “pro-law judge” who will interpret the law impartially.
He will be introduced at the hearing by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio and liberal lawyer Lisa Blatt.
Questioning of Kavanaugh will not begin until Wednesday.
Kavanaugh has been a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia since 2006.
Senate Democrats are demanding that the Trump administration release thousands of documents on Brett Kavanaugh’s record in the White House.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the senior Democrat on the panel holding the Supreme Court confirmation hearings, said the White House was trying to “hide” Kavanaugh’s records from the Senate and the public. She said more than 90 percent of his records are being withheld from the Senate and the public.
The California Democrat said senators in her party would participate in the hearings under a “silent protest” against the White House’s conduct in the matter.
Republican Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said earlier on Fox News that more documents on Kavanaugh have been released than on any other nominee.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley wants Democrats to stop complaining about documents they’ve received pertaining to Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
Grassley is chairing the confirmation hearing later Tuesday for President Donald Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court. The Iowa Republican tells Fox News that there are more documents on Kavanaugh than any other nominee in history. But Democrats say thousands were dumped out in public just hours before the hearing begins, making it impossible for thorough scrutiny.
Monday night, the committee received 42,000 pages of documents about Kavanaugh’s years with the Bush administration, prompting complaints from Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer. Democrats have also complained that they have not received all relevant documents from Kavanaugh’s work with previous administrations.
President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee says a good judge must be like a neutral and impartial umpire.
Brett Kavanaugh says in remarks prepared for his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing that “I don’t decide cases based on personal or policy preferences.” He adds that he is “not a pro-plaintiff or pro-defendant judge.” Kavanaugh says he’s a “pro-law judge” dedicated to deciding cases according to the Constitution and U.S. laws.
He thanks Trump and his wife, Melania, for being gracious to the Kavanaugh family.
Kavanaugh has a solidly conservative record as an appeals court judge, including a dissenting opinion last year that would have denied immediate access to an abortion for an immigrant teenager in federal custody.
With Republicans hoping to move the Supreme Court to the right for years to come, a Senate committee is beginning hearings for President Donald Trump’s second nominee to the court.
Brett Kavanaugh has a solidly conservative record as an appeals court judge, including a dissenting opinion last year that would have denied immediate access to an abortion for an immigrant teenager in federal custody.
The first day of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings Tuesday will feature opening statements from senators and Kavanaugh himself. Questioning will begin on Wednesday, and votes in committee and on the Senate floor could occur later in September.
If all goes as Republicans plan, the 53-year-old Kavanaugh could be on the bench when the court begins its new term on Oct. 1.