Judge Brett Kavanaugh will be spending much of the day testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee as lawmakers look to see whether he should be confirmed to his post on the United States Supreme Court.
Tuesday’s hearing is one of nearly a week of hearings the judicial pick will have to face if he is to be confirmed.
The committee hearings are expected to be heated as Democrats vehemently argue against both Kavanaugh and what they claim is an expedited process to confirm him.
The following video should give you a taste what Kavanaugh and Republicans are in for over the next week:
WATCH: Sens. Harris, Klobuchar and Blumenthal interject as Sen. Grassley attempts to begin SCOTUS nominee Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing pic.twitter.com/fPowXWbMl3
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) September 4, 2018
.@CoryBooker: “What is the rush? What are we trying to hide by not having the documents out front?”
— Fox News (@FoxNews) September 4, 2018
Here’s more, from Mediaite:
It only took a few seconds before Brett Kavanuagh‘s confirmation hearing for the Supreme Court plunged into total chaos on Tuesday, with lawmakers sparring as loud protestors were booted from the room.
As Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) called the hearing to order, he was cut off by Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) who demanded that the hearing be delayed. Harris made this call while citing the Trump Administration’s decision to withhold thousands of documents from Kavanaugh’s time with the George W. Bushadministration.
Grassley scolded Harris by telling her she was out of order, but she was followed by similar objections from Senators Amy Klobuchar and Richard Blumenthal.
The confirmation process, aside from the continued charades, should make for a meaningful discussion on how the nominee – who will serve a lifetime appointment should he be confirmed – views a number of relevant issues, such as gun control, executive privilege, regulatory reform, and the issue of a woman’s right to an abortion.
From Associated Press:
Republicans who mostly back President Donald Trump’s pick are focusing on Kavanaugh’s 12-year career as an appellate court judge, which has produced more than 300 opinions. Democrats are expected to take a more pointed tack, grilling the 53-year-old conservative on hot-button issues that could swing the court’s majority rightward.
Four days of hearings begin Tuesday. Democratic leader Chuck Schumer fumed Monday night over the committee receiving more than 42,000 pages of documents about Kavanaugh’s years with the Bush administration the night before the hearings get underway. He called for a delay until Kavanaugh’s records could be reviewed.
Schumer regarded the confirmation process as “absurd” in a tweet on Monday evening and critiqued that it is was the “least transparent.”
“The Senate was just given an additional 42,000 pages of Kavanaugh documents the NIGHT BEFORE his confirmation hearing,” Schumer said. “This underscores just how absurd this process is. Not a single senator will be able to review these records before tomorrow.”
🚨🚨 The Senate was just given an additional 42,000 pages of Kavanaugh documents the NIGHT BEFORE his confirmation hearing. This underscores just how absurd this process is. Not a single senator will be able to review these records before tomorrow.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) September 4, 2018
And, “Republicans know this has been the least transparent SCOTUS process in history and the hearings should be delayed until we can fully review Judge Kavanaugh’s records.”
Republicans know this has been the least transparent SCOTUS process in history and the hearings should be delayed until we can fully review Judge Kavanaugh’s records.
— Chuck Schumer (CSenSchumer) September 4, 2018
“It’s no wonder that @realDonaldTrump picked Brett Kavanaugh to sit on a potential ‘jury’ in the Mueller probe,” the Senate minority leader said in an additional tweet. “Kavanaugh believes sitting presidents should not be investigated or held accountable like other citizens. Judge Kavanaugh thinks presidents are above the law.”
It’s no wonder that @realDonaldTrump picked Brett Kavanaugh to sit on a potential “jury” in the Mueller probe. Kavanaugh believes sitting presidents should not be investigated or held accountable like other citizens. Judge Kavanaugh thinks presidents are above the law.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) September 3, 2018
Schumer’s attitude towards the Supreme Court nominee reflects that of most of the Democrats in the Senate and the Senate Judiciary Committee.
From Fox News:
Last month, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., accused anyone who supports Kavanaugh of being “complicit in evil.” After ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s guilty plea – which was used by Democrats to push for Kavanaugh delays – Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, even nixed a one-on-one meeting with the nominee, claiming Trump had picked him “purposely … to protect, as we say in Hawaii, his own okole” from possible criminal charges. Some Democrats, including Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., had rejected Trump’s selection before they even knew who it was, predicting the nomination process would be a “corrupt bargain with the far Right, big corporations, and Washington special interests.”
Issues at the heart of the hearing are expected to include Kavanaugh’s record on Roe v. Wade, when the Supreme Court ruled women had the right to have an abortion. “Kavanaugh has said publicly, and in private talks with senators, that he believes the case is settled law. But he has not said if it was correctly decided,” the Associated Press reports.
The issue is incredibly important to a pair of Republican senators who prevented the repeal of Obamacare because the bill also stripped funding for Planned Parenthood in their states.
Another issue which will most likely find its way to the core of questioning is whether a sitting U.S. president can be investigated or should be forced to comply to a subpoena.
From Associated Press:
Despite working on Kenneth Starr’s team investigating President Bill Clinton, Kavanaugh has long held that sitting presidents should be shielded from intrusive probes. It’s an expansive view of executive power. And it’s particularly important now, amid special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of the 2016 election. Trump complains that the investigation is a “witch hunt” and he wants it to come to an end.
Kavanaugh is expected to be grilled over key legal questions like: Can the president be subpoenaed to appear before Mueller? Is the president immune from prosecution?
“It is an unavoidable question,” said Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., previewing the kinds of questions he will be asking. “Did this president choose you because of your view of presidential power?”
Senatorial members of the committee are also expected to ask Kavanaugh about the Affordable Care Act and whether he thought the courts adequately defended its mandatory “tax,” regulatory authority and whether the federal government can regulate specific industries, torture and whether he played a role in drafting the Bush-era policies for interrogating high-priority suspects, and gun control and whether there should be any further prohibitions under the Second Amendment.
As Fox News also reports, there is little room for error in totaling the votes:
Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.
The judge’s nomination, though, will ultimately succeed or fail depending on a handful of swing-vote senators, including vulnerable red-state Democrats and moderate pro-choice Republicans who have all said that they would withhold judgment on the nominee.
Republicans command a narrow 50-49 Senate majority, which would return to 51-49 once a Republican successor to the late Sen. John McCain is appointed. Republicans have little margin for error, though Vice President Pence can break a tie.