Kavanaugh emphasizes judicial independence as second day of Supreme Court hearing begins


But to my colleagues what concerns me is that during this critical juncture in history, the president has handpicked a nominee to the court with the most expansive view of presidential power possible.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat, asked whether a president could be criminally investigated or indicted.

Kavanaugh refused, as all other Supreme Court judges have before him, to answer hypothetical questions about impeachment.

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 will do equal right to the poor and to the rich", Kavanaugh said. Patrick Leahy of Vermont about pardons. I disrupted the Senate Kavanaugh hearings this morning because Trump is an unindicted co-conspirator in a felony criminal investigation & shouldn't be allowed to nominate a Justice, til that is resolved.

News photographers clicked pictures of Kavanaugh as he entered the hearing room.

Pressed by Democratic Senator Dick Durbin, Kavanaugh defended a ruling he took part in that issued an order preventing a 17-year-old illegal immigrant, detained by US authorities in Texas, from immediately having an abortion.

"That takes some backbone", he said of the justices who decided those cases. "Precedent is rooted right in the Constitution itself". He specifically mentioned a 1992 ruling in the case Planned Parenthood v. Casey reaffirming the Roe ruling. The 76-year-old has been one of the Supreme Court nominee's champions, working to guide his nomination through the Senate.

White House spokesman Raj Shah posted a video of the moment and said it "clearly shows security intervened" when Kavanaugh was approached by the "unidentified individual".

Grassley says the documents are "irrelevant" to Kavanaugh's qualifications as a judge. Kavanaugh had clerked for Kozinski in the early 1990s and considered the judge a friend and mentor. "This seems to me to be an effort at guilt by association, which is not the way this committee should operate", Hatch said.

Asked about an email list Kozinski allegedly used to send offensive material, Kavanaugh said: "I don't remember anything like that".

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Senate Democrats looking to win the battle of public opinion over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh are essentially accusing Republicans of concealing evidence to ensure his confirmation before the midterm election.

Still, many are fearful about his potential presence on the court, and so protestors donned clothes that looked like Margaret Atwood's characters from The Handmaid's Tale, a story about women living in a totalitarian society where they are afforded no freedom or agency.

The president's repeated efforts to undermine the Russian Federation investigation - and threats to dismiss the special counsel - have amplified the potential for the matter to eventually reach the courts. "No one is above the law in our constitutional system", he said. "It's not theory. It's not just what a law review article says".

He told the panel - amid raucous protests inside the room - that civility is important. Judge Brett Kavanaugh's high-profile hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee were to kick off on Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. (1330 GMT), with Republicans praising him as a principled and exacting jurist and Democrats furious over what they describe as a lack of transparency about his time in George W. Bush's White House. Republicans have declined to seek those papers, and instead have gathered documents from his work as White House counsel to Bush.

Before the hearing could even get started, Democrats called for it to be adjourned so thousands of pages of just-released documents could be reviewed.

Kavanaugh, accused by Democrats of being a tool for big corporations and a foe of the little guy, wasted little time in trying to humanize himself Wednesday.

The 53-year-old judge, who serves on the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, sat impassively for almost seven hours of senators' statements before speaking for less than 20 minutes.

The Senate is likely to vote on confirmation by the end of the month. So Republicans have released only those documents they consider most relevant - about 440,000 pages for senators to see, and fewer than 300,000 publicly.

One of several red-state Democrats watched as potentially voting for Kavanaugh, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, joined the hearing in the audience for a while.