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Democrats Interrupt Kavanaugh Hearing Over 44 Times in First Hour

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It was a raucous opening day for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s congressional hearing on Tuesday.

Capitol Hill officers escorted protesters from the Senate sporadically throughout the day’s proceedings, which did not get started in earnest until after a lengthy period of partisan bickering and interruptions.

In general, Democrats on the Senate judiciary committee expressed deep concerns over the fact that the White House invoked executive privilege in withholding roughly 100,000 pages of documents related to Kavanaugh’s work as an attorney within the second Bush administration.

Multiple senators called for an adjournment or postponement of the scheduled hearings in favor of a further review of the nominee’s record.

Committee chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, pressed forward to allow Kavanaugh his opening statement.

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“Proper respect and decorum, plus how we normally have done business in a hearing like this,” Grassley said. “We wouldn’t be having all these motions. This is something I’ve never gone through before in 15 Supreme Court nominations. I want to be patient … but I don’t think we should have to listen to the same thing three or four times. I would like to have this be a peaceful session.”

The Washington Times reported that members of the minority interjected with a concern or assertion a total of 44 times in the first hour of the hearing.

Kavanaugh, nominated by Trump to fill the seat vacated by retired Justice Anthony Kennedy, defined “a good judge” as “a neutral and impartial arbiter who favors no litigant or policy,” according to a transcript of his opening remarks released prior to Tuesday’s hearing.

Should the committee be allowed to review these documents?

“I don’t decide cases based on personal or policy preferences,” he said. “I am not a pro-plaintiff or pro-defendant judge. I am not a pro-prosecution or pro-defense judge. I am a pro-law judge.”

He went on to call Kennedy “a mentor, a friend and a hero.”

More than two hours into the proceeding, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., challenged Kavanaugh himself to join the minority calling for more transparency.

“If you believe that your public record is one you can stand behind and defend, I hope that at the end of this you will ask this committee to suspend until we are given all the documents, until we have the time to review them,” he said. “And then we will resume this hearing.”

Much of the Democratic resistance was aimed at perceived obstruction by the Trump administration.

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Durbin went on to suggest Kavanaugh would deepen that perception by not complying with the request.

“If your effort today continues to conceal and hide documents, it raises suspicion,” he said.

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Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a wide range of newsrooms.
Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a variety of newsroom settings. After covering crime and other beats for newspapers and radio stations across the U.S., he served as managing editor at Western Journalism until 2017. He has also been a regular guest and guest host on several syndicated radio programs. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife and son.
Birthplace
Virginia
Nationality
American
Honors/Awards
Texas Press Association, Best News Writing - 2012
Education
Bachelor of Arts, Journalism - Averett University
Professional Memberships
Online News Association
Location
Arizona
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment




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