Published: Thu, September 06, 2018
Sci-tech | By Spencer Schmidt

Brett Kavanaugh sidesteps Senate questions on Roe v Wade

Brett Kavanaugh sidesteps Senate questions on Roe v Wade

"The Supreme Court must never, never be viewed as a partisan institution", Kavanaugh said.

Kavanaugh's comments will do little to pacify skeptics, who have cited his opposition to a court ruling past year that an undocumented immigrant teenager who was in government custody was entitled to seek an abortion.

Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, embraced the importance of judicial independence on Wednesday during his U.S. Senate confirmation hearing but sidestepped questions from Democrats about whether a president possesses the power to pardon himself or fire a prosecutor investigating him.

Numerous documents that have been shielded from disclosure come from Kavanaugh's three years as associate White House counsel. Senate Democrats showed unified opposition to the nomination hearings continuing despite the lack of full disclosure of Kavanaugh's record.

But demonstrations continued inside the US Senate building where Kavanaugh was being quizzed on Wednesday, with occasional outbursts from protesters, such as: "Sham president, sham justice!" and "No Trump puppet!" All in all, nothing about the opening to the Kavanaugh hearings was normal.

It's no secret that much of the controversy around Judge Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court revolves around his views on executive power. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) estimated it would have required staffers to review 7,000 pages of documents per hour. Some 42,000 pages were released to senators only, not the public, on the evening before the hearing.

That dump alone is so out of the ordinary that Sen. "You know I'm very open to you".

"We have not been given an opportunity to have a meaningful hearing on this nominee", said Democrat Sen. Grassley ignored the Democrats' request to halt the hearing, saying the demand was "out of order" and accused them of obstruction.

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"The Brett Kavanaugh hearings for the future Justice of the Supreme Court are truly a display of how mean, angry, and despicable the other side is", Trump tweeted.

Kavanaugh, who made an opening statement to the committee on Tuesday, entered the hearing room a day later and took his seat alone at the witness table, pouring some bottled water into a glass moments before the hearing began. They also examined the bracelets he wears on his wrist to commemorate Jaime. Had Grassley not steamrolled right over Senate rules of procedure, they would have been at least temporarily successful in those efforts. But it would have been better still if he could just simply say the decision was correct.

The protesters, who were predominantly women, repeatedly heckled the senators and Kavanaugh, arguing that installing Trump's second pick to the Supreme Court would irreparably end access to abortion and dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

Johnson says that, in addition to keeping close tabs on Kavanaugh's nomination process, the NAACP is continuing to register and mobilize black voters ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. If Tuesday's proceedings are any indication, then we are set for another heated day.

But Grassley denied Democratic attempts to get a vote in the committee on whether to adjourn the hearing, and complaints that the late arrival of the documents and other controversies flew in the face of committee rules and basic fairness.

If you want a Supreme Court that will uphold your rights at work, at home, and in making your most personal decisions, contact your USA senators and let them know that they should only confirm a Supreme Court justice who believes in these protections for all people. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer complained it was impossible to go through them in time. But with Judiciary Committee Democrats divided between younger upstarts and veterans hesitant to completely buck Senate norms, they settled on merely disrupting the proceedings - for now.

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