Kavanaugh Defends Judicial Record As Democrats Seek Answers On Hot-Button Issues

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Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh swears in during his Senate confirmation hearing. Ting Shen Xinhua News Agency Newscom

The last Democrat to question Kavanaugh, Senator Kamala Harris, began with a real-world two-by-four slam, asking him if he had ever discussed the Mueller investigation with members of the law firm representing President Trump.

The Senate Judicial Committee hearing has strong political overtones ahead of the November congressional elections, but as a practical matter Democrats lack the votes to block Kavanaugh's confirmation.

Trump nominated Kavanaugh, 53, to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, who announced his retirement on June 27.

TRT World's North America Correspondent Jon Brain reports from Washington. "In recent years, a conservative majority on the Supreme Court made it harder to impose antitrust law, ruling in favor of consolidation and market dominance", she said, adding that two of Kavanaugh's rulings appeared to agree with that sentiment.

That prompted a complaint from Republicans that Booker can't "cross-examine somebody about a document you cannot see".

Overall, 70 people were arrested Tuesday and charged with disorderly conduct on the first day of the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said to Kavanaugh, who sat quietly amidst the chaos of the hearing.

"My mom taught me in the first instance, judging is not just about theory", he said.

Yet my own favorite moment was Kavanaugh's answer to a question from Sen.

On the second day of the contentious hearing, senators pressed the conservative federal appeals court judge on his views on presidential power, abortion and gun rights. He said victims of sexual harassment need better information about how to come forward.

"I told the truth and the whole truth in my prior testimony", Kavanaugh said.

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A Catholic, he has been a US Court of Appeals judge in Washington for the past 11 years. Kavanaugh was a law clerk for Kozinski in the early 1990s and remained friendly with him.

Shrieking protesters also disrupted the hearing. In particular, before the Senate Judiciary Committee holds hearings this week regarding Judge Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court, all documents related to his work on judicial nominations should be disclosed.

When the disruptions continued, Kavanaugh asked Grassley, "Should I proceed?"

But Republican Senator Orrin Hatch dismissed the concerns raised about the judge as "ridiculous". That's what I owe loyalty to.

"The Judiciary Committee was informed in a letter from Bill Burck that Presidents Bush and Trump would claim executive privilege on more than 100,000 pages of Brett Kavanaugh's records from the White House Counsel's Office". The Supreme Court nominations of Merrick Garland and Kavanaugh are two sides of the same coin.

Addressing some of those concerns, Kavanaugh said that "the first thing that makes a good judge is independence, not being swayed by political or public pressure", He cited historic court cases including Brown v. Board of Education that desegregated schools and USA v. Nixon that compelled the president to turn over the Watergate tapes - a ruling that Kavanaugh had previously questioned.

"The Supreme Court must never, never be viewed as a partisan institution", he said. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, says opponents' grandstanding over withheld documents pertaining to Judge Brett Kavanaugh's time in the White House is misplaced.

As they did the day before, protesters repeatedly interrupted the session, opposing Kavanaugh's nomination, before being removed from the room by security personnel. One woman was led out shouting, "Sham president, sham justice".

Democrats have accused Senate Republican leaders of stealing a Supreme Court seat when they refused to consider Merrick Garland, Democratic former President Barack Obama's nominee to the high court, in 2016.

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