When It Comes to the Kavanaugh Hearings, None of This Is Normal

Brett Kavanaugh

Sens. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) and Cory Booker (D., N.J.) used their performances during the early hours of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing to fundraise for their political campaigns.

A demonstrator shouts as Judge Brett Kavanaugh arrives prior to a hearing before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee on his nomination as Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court.

The best for which we can hope is that such nominees manage to eke their way through the gladiatorial process that decades of game-playing has produced - a process that, like the opening of the Kavanaugh confirmation hearing, is full of sound and fury signifying nothing.

In his remarks, Kavanaugh praised Garland, the chief judge on the appeals court on which they both serve, as "superb" - a line likely to further rile Democrats.

The Supreme Court nominee is set to answer questions from senators throughout the day for the first time Wednesday.

"This is the most incomplete, most partisan, least transparent vetting for any Supreme Court nominee I have ever seen", said Leahy. Capitol Police on Tuesday removed 61 protesters opposed to Kavanaugh from the room and charged them with disorderly conduct.

Another focus was Trump himself, who has frequently leveled attacks against the judiciary and law enforcement. "That's a violation of judicial independence", he said. Fred Guttenberg approached him out of nowhere with his hand extended.

He said he would respect past Supreme Court rulings.




When he does begin testifying Tuesday, Kavanaugh, in his first major test as a Supreme Court nominee on Capitol Hill, is expected to tell senators that he is a "pro-law judge". Democrats remained feisty, which - combined with protester arrests, a viral handshake attempt, and a suspicious hand gesture - made for a pretty wild display (for a Senate hearing). Today's efforts were to gather all the relevant tweets for those that are interested in the confirmation hearings of Brett Kavanaugh, but not be able to spend the day listening to CNN - you know, like the majority of Above the Law's audience.

Democrats started to question Kavanaugh on abortion and gun rights, among other issues. "And he was a champion of liberty", Kavanaugh will say, per the excerpts.

During his confirmation hearing for the appeals court in 2006, Kavanaugh assured Durbin that he had not been involved in White House discussions of torture or the treatment of enemy combatants.

Kavanaugh is a staunch supporter of the right to bear arms and is strongly endorsed by the National Rifle Association.

Kavanaugh defended his opinion, saying it was based on Supreme Court precedent that indicated semi-automatic weapons are in common use. He argued that there was no "meaningful or persuasive" distinction between semi-automatic handguns and rifles, and noted, correctly, that handguns were more frequently used in crime than rifles are. The Supreme Court's new term begins October 1.

Feinstein also asked Kavanaugh about a 2009 article he wrote in which he concluded that presidents should be free from the distractions of civil lawsuits, criminal prosecutions and investigations while in office. Kavanaugh says it's "independence" and points to Article III of the Constitution.

The nine-justice court has until now been balanced between conservatives and liberals, with Anthony Kennedy considered the "swing vote".

Monday night, the committee received 42,000 pages of documents about Kavanaugh's years with the Bush administration, prompting complaints from Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer.

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