With Trump's presidency clouded by a widening probe into Russian election meddling, Kavanaugh declined to pledge to step aside from any cases that might come before the court involving Trump's conduct. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley was tasked with making the opening remarks at the hearing and after a long period of interruptions made a decision to proceed with the opening statements over the shouts of protesters.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat, asked whether a president could be criminally investigated or indicted.
Instead, her stinging defeat almost two years ago has left her on the outside, where she's launched a series of tweets attacking President Trump's nominee Brett Kavanaugh, saying he'll gut women's rights, workers' rights and health care.
"I'm not going to answer hypothetical questions of that sort", Kavanaugh said, responding to questions from Sen. Democrats have repeatedly asked for the hearing to be postponed until Kavanaugh releases all of his records and the Senators have time to review them.
As they did the day before, protesters repeatedly interrupted the session, opposing Kavanaugh's nomination, before being removed from the room by security personnel.
"Indeed, some pledged to oppose Judge Kavanaugh from the moment of announcement", he said, noting that shortly after President Trump announced his selection, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer "said that he would fight Judge Kavanaugh with everything he's got".
On Wednesday, members of the Senate committee were granted up to 30 minutes each to grill Kavanaugh on a variety of subjects.
"That takes some backbone", he said of the justices who decided those cases. Additionally, the right to use contraception, whether you are married or single, is also protected as a constitutional right dating back to the decision of Eisenstadt v. Baird in 1972. He specifically mentioned a 1992 ruling in the case Planned Parenthood v. Casey reaffirming the Roe ruling.
Again, Kavanaugh didn't offer a clear yes or no.
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Kavanaugh is expected to face tough questioning by the committee Wednesday, when the hearing is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. Her exit was followed by that of two other women, according to another video shared by another activist, Fox News reported.
Ben Sasse (R-NE) noted there is a record amount of information already available on Judge Kavanaugh. It is a distinct possibility that, if Kavanaugh were confirmed, he would encounter the exact situation Feinstein was asking about.
"I am not a skeptic of regulation at all", he said.
In her remarks, Klobuchar suggested that 1) aspects of the Trump presidency to date have left her anxious that Trump's willingness to abide by laws and precedents; 2) that Kavanaugh's position on the three-judge panel left her anxious that as a Supreme Court justice he might take an extremely expansive view of presidential power and 3) that that might be among the reasons Trump wants him on the Supreme Court.
Today we begin a hearing in which it is our duty to carry on the American constitution tradition that John Adams stood up for many years ago.
Republicans hope to have Kavanaugh confirmed early in October at the start of the next Supreme Court term. Trump's Justice Department has said it will not defend the law against pending challenges from the states. His writings that investigations are a distraction were just ideas, he said, not his actual constitutional philosophy. They say those could shed light on his views about policies from that era, including the detention and interrogation of terror suspects.
Democrats also pushed for the release of 100,000 more pages they say are being withheld by the administration, particularly those related to his time in ex-president George W Bush's legal office and as White House staff secretary. "We have not had an opportunity to have a meaningful hearing", said Sen.
Still, Democrats haven't ruled out a boycott or walkout of Kavanaugh hearings, Politico reported. President Trump's unprecedented move to hide important documents casts a cloud over Judge Kavanaugh's nomination. Richard Blumenthal of CT, "selecting a justice on the Supreme Court who potentially will cast a decisive vote in his own case".
The most likely outcome of this week's hearings is a vote along party lines to send Kavanaugh's nomination to the full Senate.
Kavanaugh sat, fingers intertwined, quietly staring ahead at the committee members as audience members screamed while being dragged out of the hearing room. He is up for re-election this fall.
They now have a 51-49 majority in the Senate, after Jon Kyl was sworn in Wednesday to fill the seat held by the late Sen. "There's no reason Brett Kavanaugh couldn't have given a straight answer", she tweeted. Abortion rights supporters are trying to appeal to those senators, who both favour abortion access.