Chaotic hearings find nominee in hot seat - USA


On Wednesday, under questioning from Democrats, Kavanaugh declined invitations to promise he would not vote to reverse Roe, saying it would violate judicial norms to promise a vote on any particular case.

Kavanaugh needs to capture 51 votes in the Senate to be confirmed. One shouted that the questions senators were asking about executive power were not "hypothetical" and should be answered.

Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont said about 4 percent of Kavanaugh's White House records have been posted for the public to view and about 7 percent have been made available to the committee.

The president's contentious nominee for the nation's highest court told Blumenthal that it would be inappropriate for him to make commitments on how he would handle potential cases.

"I think the first quality of a good judge in our constitutional system is independence", Kavanaugh added.

The National Archives is also preparing to release more than 1 million documents from Kavanaugh's time in the White House counsel's office.

Asked about court precedents, the importance of previously settled cases including the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that ensures access to abortion, Kavanaugh said, "Respect for precedent is important".

Overall, 70 people were arrested Tuesday and charged with disorderly conduct on the first day of the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings.

Harris appeared to join protests along with other Democratic senators when they tried interrupting Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley's (R-Iowa) remarks during the hearing.

Other Democrats voiced criticism at the process so far, including Manchin, who lashed out at both parties for their handling of this Supreme Court fight and other recent battles.

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And Collins suggested she wasn't concerned when asked Tuesday evening about Democratic complaints over the Trump administration's decision to withhold more than 100,000 pages of documents from the Senate Judiciary Committee over claims of privilege.

"Have you discussed [special counsel Robert] Mueller or his investigation with anyone at Kasowitz, Benson and Torres, the law firm founded by Marc Kasowitz, President Trump's personal lawyer?" she asked. The White House has said Kavanaugh "led the effort to rein in unaccountable independent agencies" and his rulings against environmental and consumer protection regulations. One swing-vote senator is likely to support Kavanaugh, something that would nearly certainly ensure his confirmation, a source with direct knowledge told CNN.

"I guess he did not want to deal with the reality of gun violence", Guttenberg said on Twitter after the encounter.

With the departure of retired Justice Anthony Kennedy, abortion rights could hang on Kavanaugh's vote. I appreciate what you've said about Native Hawaiians.

The hearing gave Democrats a chance to make their case against Kavanaugh ahead of November's congressional elections, in which they are seeking to seize control of Congress from Trump's fellow Republicans.

Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of IL asked Kavanaugh if he would seek a delay in his hearing so the paper trail could be vetted.

He sidestepped Democratic Senator Christopher Coons' query on whether he still believed, as he wrote 20 years ago, that a president could fire a special prosecutor investigating him.

Sens. Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska are the only two Republicans even remotely open to voting against Kavanaugh, though neither has said she would do so. They now have a 51-49 majority in the Senate, after Jon Kyl was sworn in Wednesday to fill the seat held by the late Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, joined the hearing in the audience for a while.

As protesters repeatedly interrupted the session, Republican Sen.

The DC Circuit majority read Supreme Court precedent differently because the 17-year-old who had crossed the southern border had already fulfilled the requirements of state law for a minor trying to obtain an abortion.