Hatch questions Kavanaugh about loyalty to Trump in Supreme Court confirmation hearing


U.S. Senate Democrats on Tuesday complained about Republicans blocking access to documents stemming from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's previous work in the White House under President George W. Bush as the conservative judge's Senate confirmation hearing began.

On Tuesday, there were angry scenes minutes after Mr Kavanaugh entered the committee rooms. Committee Chairman Charles Grassley denied the motion to delay the hearing and pressed forward, despite vocal protests from the members of the audience, dozens of whom were arrested.

Kavanaugh continued today to refuse to answer direct questions about his stance on Roe v. Wade, instead repeating the same line about having supported the ruling as a lower court judge because it was "established law", which means absolutely nothing to a Supreme Court Justice, since they're in the position to set-or reset-what is established law.

But with Trump's fellow Republicans holding a slim Senate majority, and no sign of defections in the Republican ranks, it remains likely Kavanaugh will be confirmed to the lifetime job on the top US judicial body. Senators have reviewed almost 200,000 pages that can not be disclosed to the public, and the Trump administration is withholding an additional 100,000 pages from Congress, claiming that those documents are covered by presidential privilege.

If confirmed, Kavanaugh is expected to move the high court-which already had a conservative majority-further to the right. Senate Democrats have vowed a fierce fight. SUBSCRIBE NOW and hit the bell to be the first in the know.

Kavanaugh said he would have a "completely open mind" if the legal issues came before him as a judge.

Answering a question from Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal, Kavanaugh said he could not commit to recusing himself from any cases involving investigations or civil lawsuits relating to the president.

Most of us know that in 1973, the Supreme Court held in Roe v. Wade that states can not ban abortion before a certain point in pregnancy because doing so would violate a woman's constitutional right to liberty and privacy.

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In the Minnesota Law Review, Kavanaugh argued that while the nation requires a check against "a bad-behaving or law-breaking president", that check is provided only by the US Constitution. "Anything less than 49 Democratic votes against Kavanaugh would be a massive failure of your leadership". Republicans want to put Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court before the November midterm elections.

In 2012, Kavanaugh was part of a panel that scrapped an Environmental Protection Agency measure aimed at reducing air pollution in the United States. "They will say anything, and are only looking to inflict pain and embarrassment to one of the most highly renowned jurists to ever appear before Congress".

Senator Ben Sasse used his time to say how much he was exhausted of the theatrics and "patently absurd" criticisms that had been lobbed at Kavanaugh that he claimed were not based on truth or even anything to do with the nominee but rooted in misdirected political fervor. For it was James Madison, who may not have had a musical named for him but who was a top scholar of his time, who wrote in "The Federalist No. 47" that the accumulation of all powers, the executive, legislative and the judiciary, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.

"My understanding is that you're asking me to give my view on a potential hypothetical and thats something that each of the eight justices now sitting in the supreme court when they were sitting in my seat declined to decide hypothetical cases", Kavanaugh said.

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

A steady stream of protesters interrupted often contentious opening statements from both sides of the aisle. He wouldn't say whether a sitting president could be subpoenaed (something Mueller threatened to do to Trump and could end up at the Supreme Court).

Republicans have a slim majority in the 100-seat upper house.