Brett Kavanaugh visits Senate as confirmation fight begins

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The good news for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is that US President Donald Trump did not pick a justice like Seventh Circuit Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett, someone who might have given more "heartburn" to centrist Republican Party senators like Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of ME, according to Senator John Thune (R-S.D.). With that, Collins overlooks the activist nature of the current Supreme Court. He wrote that the high court has "held that the government may further those interests so long as it does not impose an undue burden on a woman seeking an abortion".

"Brett Kavanaugh is a political animal".

While no decisions have been made by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley on the scope of the document requests the panel will make, the sheer volume of Kavanaugh's paper trail was a concern of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's prior to the nomination.

Compared to their initial attacks on Kavanaugh, Democrats are putting less stress in recent days on the possibility that he could threaten Roe v Wade, a landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision supporting abortion rights.

Still, Democrats are pointing to that case as a red flag as Congress considers elevating Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

He is also the first of three Senate Democrats who voted for Trump's first Supreme Court pick, Justice Neil Gorsuch. He said the majority opinion was "based on a constitutional principle as novel as it is wrong: a new right for unlawful immigrant minors in United States government detention to obtain immediate abortion on demand". "But that said, overall he has the foundation where we can expect responsible decisions even on those issues down the road" - should they make it to the Supreme Court level.

Justice Anthony Kennedy's departure from the Supreme Court should also be a relief to all who want to end abortion. And both of them parted company with McConnell when they joined Senate Democrats in opposing a proposed 20-week abortion ban. In 2006 - the year he was confirmed as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit - he reported having between $60,000 to $200,000 in debt. Diane Feinstein said at the press conference.

Now Sen. Schumer is the consummate politician, and a very intelligent guy. And he speaks from experience: Kavanaugh clerked for Kenneth Starr, the special counsel who investigated President Bill Clinton.

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"The third thing that worries me is that he has written an article saying, in effect, that presidents like Trump should be above the law".

Democrats are likely to confront Kavanaugh with those words when he sits for his confirmation hearing.

These comments should ring alarm bells given that the president is now under legal investigation, while his executive orders are being challenged in court.

"We know what we are getting with judge Kavanaugh", Graham added. Mainstream Democrats in leadership positions, not just angry protesters.

Kavanaugh's nomination sets the stage for a brutal confirmation battle, a blueprint for which Republicans established in 2016 when they denied a hearing to Merrick Garland, Barack Obama's choice to fill the seat left vacant following the death of conservative justice Antonin Scalia.

But on Kavanaugh, he isn't tipping his hand early and insists he'll keep an "open mind".

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told Fox News on Tuesday that Democratic hopefuls for 2020 feel the need to be "the most insane person" when commenting on President Donald Trump's federal court nominations. Mr. Trump and Manchin's Republican opponent, Patrick Morrisey, have already been slamming Manchin for times he's sided with Democrats, such as on last year's tax overhaul vote.

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