Democrats demand delay of Supreme Court justice hearing

Democrats demand delay of Supreme Court justice hearing

"My judicial philosophy is straightforward: a judge must be independent and must interpret the law, not make the law", he said.

As Tuesday's hearings opened, Democrats on the Judiciary Committee tried but failed to get the proceedings delayed.

Democrats are concerned that Kavanaugh will restrict abortion rights or even aim to overturn Roe v. Wade, ease gun restrictions, and protect the president.

Guttenberg has become a prominent advocate for gun control, including stricter regulation on military-style "assault weapons", after his 14-year-old daughter, Jaime, was shot to death in her school hallway this February with a legally purchased AR-15-style rifle.

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White House spokesperson Raj Shah said security intervened before Kavanaugh could shake the hand of the "unidentified individual". Kavanaugh doesn't need Democratic support if all Republicans vote for him. So far, there are no signs of Republican defections. The confirmation hearings should therefore be halted so these issues can be explored and proper recusals agreed to after due deliberation, including full production of the judge's documents so his views can be thoroughly probed. Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, at one point called for the removal of a "loudmouth" protester.

"You are the nominee of President Donald John Trump".

"I want to discuss what this hearing is about and what it's not about", Cruz said.

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If confirmed by the Senate, Kavanaugh would replace retired Justice Anthony Kennedy, a moderate conservative who was a swing vote on the court.

Democrats on the committee complained that hundreds of thousands of pages of documents from Kavanaugh's time in the White House have not been turned over. The administration held back more than 100,000 pages of documents related to his service because the White House and the Department of Justice have determined they are protected by constitutional privilege, according to a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee. They said the hearings should be delayed because they haven't had time to review the documents and not all documents have been released.

Also outside the hearing room, several women assembled to greet Kavanaugh, dressed as the handmaids from the TV adaptation of Margaret Atwood's dystopian novel "The Handmaid's Tale". He occasionally jotted notes on paper.

One subplot that has come up (it was initially in the ATL livecap of the hearing, but we've pulled them into this new post, as the details have emerged) was Fred Guttenberg, father of Jaime Guttenberg who was killed in the Parkland massacre, attempting to introduce himself to Judge Kavanaugh as the hearing broke for lunch. Video of the encounter was shared widely on social media.

"My mom taught me that judges don't deal in abstract theories; they decide real cases for real people in the real world", Kavanaugh said. But the Democrat frustrations that boiled over on Tuesday had been simmering for more than two years. After Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) stole this Supreme Court seat from Merrick Garland, many among the Democratic base have demanded that their elected leaders put up a fight no matter the odds.

Senate Democrats disrupted the start of the Judiciary Committee hearing of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh Tuesday morning. In 2013, Democrats set the precedent for the Republicans' move by lowering the confirmation vote margin to 50 votes for most other executive nominees.

Questioning of the nominee will begin on Wednesday, and votes in committee and on the Senate floor could occur later in September. If all goes as Republicans plan, Kavanaugh could be on the bench when the court begins its new term on October 1.

Republicans brushed aside complaints that Kavanaugh is too partisan and accused Democrats of stalling tactics.

Kavanaugh also is likely to face questions about his views on investigating sitting presidents and the ongoing probe led by special counsel Robert Mueller into Russian meddling in the 2016 USA presidential election.

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