Kavanaugh Hearing Day 2: SCOTUS Nominee Defends Dissents On Abortion, Gun Control
- Debra Rodriguez
He also stressed that while he ultimately sided with the Trump administration, he also "made clear [the transfer to a sponsor] had to happen very quickly", and "specifically said the government can not use this as a ruse to somehow prevent the abortion" entirely. Still, he began his long day in the witness chair by declaring that "no one is above the law".
In his first day of answering questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee at his confirmation hearings, Kavanaugh said that independence without prejudging cases is the "first quality of a good judge". Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), have suggested that Trump nominated Kavanaugh in an effort to protect himself from possible legal peril stemming from special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe, along with an FBI investigation into the president's former longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen.
The first moment came when Sen.
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Kavanaugh's most uncomfortable moment may have come near the end of almost 12 hours in the witness chair, when Democratic Sen. She promised to follow up, amid Republican complaints that she was being unfair.
Protesters on Wednesday repeatedly brought the hearing to a pause before they were ejected.
The majority of those arrested were removed from the Committee room inside the Hart Senate Office Building.
Kavanaugh, in his statement Tuesday, gave a shout-out to Garland, "our superb chief judge".
Kavanaugh said that all he had written back in the email was "who signed this?" - evidence, he said, that he believed the letter had been made public by the time it was in his possession. He said he "saw some incredible answers to very complex questions".
Senior Democrat Dianne Feinstein asked if he thought a sitting president could be "required to respond to a subpoena".
"That's his record", she said.
Republican Orrin Hatch accused Democratic senators of political opportunism, noting, "We have folks who want to run for president", though he did not mention any by name.
Asked by Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, a Republican, whether he would have any trouble ruling against Trump or the executive branch, Kavanaugh replied: "No one is above the law in our constitutional system". They're raising the question of whether Republicans are trying to hide something in Kavanaugh's record.
Kavanaugh said he reversed the conviction of a man in a military commissions case who was convicted for an offense that wasn't an identified crime at the time it happened. "If we can't even have a nominee who can publicly say there is no right for 7.2 billion people to break into the world and demand an abortion - putting Roe aside - i dont [sic] know the objective of us engaging in this business", he said.
He worked under special counsel Kenneth Starr in his investigation into President Bill Clinton's relationship with intern Monica Lewinsky in the 1990s.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat, asked whether a president could be criminally investigated or indicted.
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The confirmation hearing for US President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee has descended into "mob rule", a Republican senator said. "But what we need to understand is that his view of precedent and the law and the Constitution has a lot to do with his personal beliefs".
"Respect for precedent is important".
"You said that Jane Doe should be unable to decide the right to choose because she didn't have family and friends to help make her decisions", Feinstein continued. His conservative record includes a dissenting opinion a year ago that would have denied immediate access to an abortion for an immigrant teenager in federal custody.
But abortion was her chief focus.
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), for one, has said some of the emails Republicans have restricted to senators show that Kavanaugh may have lied under oath in past committee hearings.
"No one has ever said, I don't think, that the president is immune from civil and criminal process".
"This is something I've never gone through before", Grassley acknowledged.
"They were some ideas for Congress to consider". He says after working in the George W. Bush White House and experiencing the fallout from 9/11, he changed his mind.
The Senate can not fulfill its constitutional duty if the White House withholds documents necessary for Senators to know whether a nominee has been truthful in testimony before the Committee.
But Kavanaugh declined to engage, saying.
Kavanaugh said his earlier testimony was "100 percent accurate".
The nomination hearings are expected to last several more days, during which Democrats will likely try to portray Kavanaugh as someone too tied to Trump and who will push a conservative agenda on the high court.
Republicans will hold a slim 51-49 majority in the Senate once Jon Kyl, the former Arizona senator, is sworn in to fill the seat held by the late Sen.
The committee struggled to get through a raucous hearing that was frequently disrupted by people shouting from the audience. He is up for re-election this fall in a state Trump won handily in 2016.
A steady stream of protesters interrupted often contentious opening statements from both sides of the aisle.
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