Piper Perabo Arrested While Protesting At Brett Kavanaugh SCOTUS Confirmation Hearing

Toby Graves
September 5, 2018

Sens. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) and Cory Booker (D., N.J.) used their performances during the early hours of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing to fundraise for their political campaigns.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) called the hearing a "charade" and "a mockery of our norms".

'This is a mockery and a travesty of justice, ' yelled one unidentified protester.

I do. And I love my friend Paul, but I couldn't disagree more with what he just said. "So what do they want you to know about Kavanaugh instead?"

Kavanaugh declared he would be even-handed in his approach to the law.

"A judge must be independent and must interpret the law, not make the law. I am not a pro-prosecution or pro-defense judge". But the justices often say they seek consensus when they can, and they like to focus on how frequently they reach unanimous decisions. His conservative record includes a dissenting opinion previous year that would have denied immediate access to an abortion for an immigrant teenager in federal custody. Kennedy, who retired in July, was the perennial deciding vote on 5-4 cases, usually siding with the four conservatives but swinging to the liberals' side on abortion, affirmative action, gay rights and other social issues. Both senators are considered potential 2020 presidential nominees. Questioning will begin Wednesday and last at least two days.

If all goes according to Republicans' plans, the committee will vote later this month - nearly surely along straight party lines - to send his nomination to the full Senate in hopes of getting him on the court by the October 1 start of the 2018 term. Kavanaugh's remarks were not the words of a man interviewing for a spot on the highest court of the land.

Several Democrats interrupted the hearing, insisting lawmakers needed time to review documents related to nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh that were released Monday night by the Trump administration.

Grassley called the Democrats' request to halt the hearing "out of order" and accused them of obstruction.

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.

Trump is facing dismal approval ratings as special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of possible Russian collusion with Trump's team closes in on the White House.

Republicans hold a one-vote majority in the Senate.

Kavanaugh, in his statement Tuesday, gave a shout-out to Garland, "our superb chief judge".

During the hearings two starkly different images of Kavanaugh emerged.

If confirmed by a Senate controlled narrowly by Trump's fellow Republicans, Kavanaugh is expected to move the high court - which already had a conservative majority - further to the right.

Committee chair, Republican Chuck Grassley, admitted he had lost control of the hearings and berated himself for not being tougher on his fellow senators.

"Judge Brett Kavanaugh is an Exceptionally Qualified and Deserving Nominee for the Supreme Court", he added, to clear up any confusion.

He will be introduced at the hearing by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Republican Sen.

The paper trail from those jobs proved to be too voluminous for the Senate to pile through in the eight weeks since Kavanaugh's nomination.

The partisan infighting over the seemingly mundane topic of document release isn't new; its been the primary focus for Senate Democrats, led by minority leader Chuck Schumer, for almost two months. "And I've seen more than anyone else in the Senate". And they're the ones demanding more documents from his years as a White House functionary - purely in hopes that somewhere they can find something that will look bad enough to prompt some nervous Republican senator to bolt.

Kelly Jean Kelly wrote this story for VOA Learning English with reports from the Associated Press and VOA News.

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