In Latest Kavanaugh Drama, Democrats Block Routine Request to Meet

“Handmaids” are protesting at Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing

It's tempting to hope the confirmation hearings for Judge Brett Kavanaugh will finish the way they began.

As protesters in the audience screamed while being dragged out of the hearing room, Kavanaugh sat fingers intertwined, quietly staring ahead. Grassley says the documents are "irrelevant" to Kavanaugh's qualifications as a judge.

If approved, he would be expected to tilt the court's balance to the right.

But the Senate Judiciary Committee, controlled by Republicans, said they could review numerous same documents sent directly by the Bush library in time for the hearings to begin Tuesday.

What were the protests about?

Others claimed the judge would let people with pre-existing medical conditions be stripped of medical coverage. "This is a mockery and a travesty of justice", shouted one woman. Another cried: "Our democracy is broken!"

Manuel Miranda was in bed Wednesday morning, suffering from a kidney stone, when he heard his name invoked as a key player during the televised hearing for Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh. Sixty-one were removed from the Senate Judiciary Committee room and charged with disorderly conduct, and nine removed from the second floor of the Dirksen Senate Office Building and charged with crowding, obstruction, or incommoding.

Today marks the start of Judge Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmation hearing as he faces questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee. Reportedly, the documents "would be covered by presidential privilege".

"There is no one in America more qualified for this position and no one more deserving", Trump said in announcing his nomination at the White House.

Monday night, some 42,000 documents pertaining to Kavanaugh's work with previous administrations were released to the committee.

Some Republicans have expressed concern that Kavanaugh's extensive record on various critical cases could give ammunition for opponents to delay the confirmation process or scuttle the nomination.

While judges do, in fact, rely on legal precedent and the text of the Constitution when they decide cases, Clark said, they "filter the precedent through their personal beliefs".

Republican Senator Orrin Hatch bluntly asked Kavanaugh what loyalty he owes Trump.

President Donald Trump's US Supreme Court nominee said on Wednesday he would not let political pressure threaten his judicial independence, as he assured senators he respected the landmark legal precedent protecting abortion rights.

Why is the nomination contentious?

The change could make the court more conservative on a range of issues.

The committee's top Democrat, Dianne Feinstein of California, disagreed. He retired in July.

He also declined to say whether he would recuse himself from cases involving the civil or criminal liability of President Trump. 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. They can confirm Mr Kavanaugh if they stay united. There were no signs of Republican defections. After much back-and-forth, Kavanaugh basically said that while he could not definitively deny there was any such conversation, he was so careful about judicial independence that he would never consciously prejudice possible future cases.

The entire Senate will most likely vote on confirmation by the end of the month.

In past comments, Kavanaugh has supported an expansion of presidential immunity from prosecution - a dramatic shift from his recommendation for strong action against then-president Bill Clinton when Kavanaugh assisted in a 1990s investigation against him.

Numerous documents that have been shielded from disclosure come from Kavanaugh's three years as associate White House counsel.

He also repeated that he was unaware of the sexual harassment claims that caused Alex Kozinski to retire a year ago as an appeals court judge.

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