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Tillis delivers opening statement at Supreme Court Hearing

06 September 2018

Sen. Kamala Harris pressed Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh about whether he'd talked with anyone working with President Donald Trump's lawyer about the Russian Federation investigation.

Fred Guttenberg (left), the father of Parkland shooting victim Jaime Guttenberg, attempts to shake hands with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh at Tuesday's hearing in a moment that was widely shared on social media.

The piece was written in response to the Supreme Court case Rice v. Cayetano, in which the Supreme Court ruled that excluding voters because they are not Hawaiian violated the 14th and 15th amendments. In the dissent cited above, he stated that "semi-automatic rifles have traditionally not been banned and are in common use today, and are thus protected" by the Second Amendment. Kavanaugh, who Democrats have suggested could be a threat to reproductive rights, said his decision would be compelled by "precedent" - not personal views. Republican, Democrat differences. But in the three-and-a-half years that I've been chairman of the committee, every bill that has come out of the Judiciary Committee has had bipartisan support.

He would not say if he believes a sitting president has the right to refuse to answer a subpoena or to pardon himself, as Trump has said he has the right to do.

Answering a question from Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal, Kavanaugh said he could not commit to recusing himself from any cases involving investigations or civil lawsuits relating to the president.

Sen. John McCain Memorial Service
As if making a direct comparison to President Trump , Biden repeated that McCain "could not stand the abuse of power". But that admiration wasn't surprising, because Senator McCain was known as a man of integrity and conviction.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has been able to review the more than 300 legal opinions Kavanaugh has authored and the hundreds more he has joined as a circuit court judge.

Trump has often criticized the judiciary.

Kavanaugh told Harris, seen as a potential 2020 presidential contender, he could not specifically recall anyone who works at the firm and said, "I'd like to know the person you're thinking of". Heidi Heitkamp, a North Dakota Democrat, told CNN Wednesday afternoon when asked if anything she's heard so far would be considered disqualifying. Kamala Harris pressed Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh about whether he had discussed special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation with anyone, including any individuals at the law firm founded by the President's personal attorney.

"I'm asking you a very direct question", she said, but she still couldn't get an answer.

Grassley noted that despite his staff being available around the clock to help Democrats access records, not a single Democratic senator showed up.

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"My mom taught me in the first instance, judging is not just about theory", he said.

After more questions from senators on Thursday, the hearing is set to wrap up on Friday with testimony from outside witnesses.

In the document mentioned by Booker, Kavanaugh said that although he favored race-neutral policies in policing, there was an "interim question of what to do before a truly effective and comprehensive race-neutral system is developed and implemented". At age 53, Kavanaugh could serve on the court for decades.

Republicans hope to confirm Kavanaugh in time for the first day of the new Supreme Court term, October 1.

Kavanaugh was referring to justices at that time - meaning in 2003. Roe isn't "settled law"; if it were, there wouldn't be an iota of the sturm and drang surrounding SCOTUS confirmation hearings that we typically experience.

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Even as Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, for example, have not voted to overturn Roe, they have narrowly interpreted its breadth and declined to strike down tough state restrictions on abortion. He likened it to another controversial, landmark Supreme Court decision, the Miranda ruling about the rights of criminal suspects. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Kavanaugh also spoke about a subsequent Supreme Court decision, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which upheld Roe but also narrowed its scope. The change could make the court more conservative on a range of issues.

Tillis delivers opening statement at Supreme Court Hearing