A contentious day one of confirmation hearings for Judge Brett Kavanaugh, hearings that Democrats fought to delay even as things got underway.
“This hearing should be postponed,” said U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) in a chorus of Democratic demands.
“How long do you want to go on with this?” asked Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA).
The reason: more than 42,000 pages of documents regarding Kavanaugh's time in the George W. Bush White House that the Senate Judiciary Committee received late Monday night, the latest in a months-long struggle by Democrats to get information on President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick.
Still, Republicans pushed on, touting Kavanaugh’s conservative record and noting more documents have been released for Kavanaugh than the last five Supreme Court Justices combined.
“The level of disingenuineness (sic) and hyperbole, even by today’s standards, is extraordinary,” said Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX).
But when the smoke cleared, Democrats made it clear: they are concerned not only about what they don’t know, but what they do know. In this case, Kavanaugh’s position on key issues such as abortion, notably overturning the landmark decision Roe v. Wade; the Affordable Care Act, and whether or not a sitting president can face civil or criminal prosecution while in office.
“These are not normal times,” said U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI). “Instead, we’re here to decide whether or not to rubberstamp (President) Donald Trump’s choice of a pre-selected political ideologue.”
If confirmed, Kavanaugh would be the crucial swing vote on the Supreme Court, replacing Justice Anthony Kennedy, who retired in July.
On Wednesday, the Senate and Kavanaugh are scheduled to meet once again where Kavanaugh will answer questions directly from the committee. At least three days of hearings are scheduled.
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