Kavanaugh hearing opens in chaos

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Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal was saying Democrats had been "denied the documents we need" after the release of 42,000 documents from Kavanaugh's time in the Bush White House just hours before the hearing began. Republican Senator John Cornyn accused Democrats of trying to conduct the hearing by "mob rule".

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) defended the right of the protesters to speak out.

Kavanaugh, who serves alongside Garland on the D.C. federal appeals court, spoke highly of his colleague, describing Garland as "superb" in his opening statement.

"More women are going to be sent to back-alley abortions!" one protester screamed as she was removed by police.

Going into Tuesday's hearing, White House aides believe their nominee's task of introducing himself to the country hasn't been made more hard in the weeks leading up to this hearing. Kamala Harris, who asked him about the thousands of pages she'd received the night before. Senators Chris Coons (D-DE), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) made salient points. They can confirm Mr Kavanaugh if they stay united.

Kavanaugh declared he would be even-handed in his approach to the law.

"A good judge must be an umpire - a neutral and impartial arbiter who favours no litigant or policy", Kavanaugh said in the excerpts released by the White House.

"A judge must be independent and must interpret the law, not make the law". I am not a pro-plaintiff or pro-defendant judge.

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There is a long history of heated fights over U.S. Supreme Court nominations, with anger in both parties. And, when the group decides cases, justices often split into the same two groups - conservative and liberal.

The backdrop for the Senate hearing is that everyone knows the Republicans have the votes to put Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, since the filibuster has been abolished. His conservative record includes a dissenting opinion past year that would have denied immediate access to an abortion for an immigrant teenager in federal custody. The Ohio Republican, who worked with Kavanaugh in the George W. Bush White House, will talk about the judge's professional and personal background. Kennedy was also the decisive vote for same-sex marriage and university affirmative action.

Republican Senator Lindsay Graham said President Trump often drove him insane but his choice of Kavanaugh was the best thing he had ever done. A rule change previous year allows the Senate to confirm a Supreme Court nominee with a simple majority vote.

If all goes according to Republicans' plans, the committee will vote later this month - nearly surely along straight party lines - to send his nomination to the full Senate in hopes of getting him on the court by the October 1 start of the 2018 term.

Grassley has called Kavanaugh "one of the most qualified nominees ever picked for the court". Kavanaugh's remarks were not the words of a man interviewing for a spot on the highest court of the land. The administration held back more than 100,000 pages of documents related to his service because the White House and the Department of Justice have determined they are protected by constitutional privilege, according to a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee. There were also a number of attempts by Democrats to shut down the process.

Rebuffed in their request to delay the hearing, Democrats are planning to shine a light on Kavanaugh's views on abortion, executive power and whether Trump could be forced to testify as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation. He pulled his hand back, turned his back to me and walked away.

Democrats argue that they still haven't seen 90 percent of Kavanaugh's past work product and did not have time to review what they did receive prior to the hearing. The two Senators the Democrats had pinned their hopes on, Alaska's Lisa Murkowski and Maine's Susan Collins, don't appear to have given any indication they won't vote with their party. Critics warn his confirmation could lead to major rollbacks of civil rights, environmental regulations, gun control measures, voting rights and reproductive rights, including possibly overturning Roe v. Wade.