Democrats Fail to Derail Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearing Despite Pandemonium, Protests

Kavanaugh set to begin confirmation hearings

Fred Guttenberg, the father of Jamie Guttenberg who was killed in the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fla., left, attempts to shake hands with President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, right, as he leaves for a lunch break while appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018, to begin his confirmation to replace retired Justice Anthony Kennedy.

A demonstrator shouts as Judge Brett Kavanaugh arrives prior to a hearing before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee on his nomination as Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court.

By not staging a walkout, however, Democrats also allowed themselves to become part of the process and grill Kavanaugh in the upcoming hearings, hoping to mobilize opposition to his candidacy.

Opening statements are underway in the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. "So sad to see!"

Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa gaveled in the first day of hearings on Tuesday morning. Protesters also disrupted the proceedings.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the top Democrat on the committee, warned that Kavanaugh would tilt the high court to the right, especially on hot-button issues such as abortion and gun control.

Each time another stood to yell - and the Capitol Police closed in to remove the person from the room - the photographers would begin taking pictures from close range.

"We can not possibly move forward, Mr. Chairman, with this hearing", she declared.

When the hearing turned from controversy over process to substance, Durbin thrust home the meat of the Democratic case. "Kamala Harris raised objections to the committee just receiving a batch of 42,000 documents relating to the nominee's work with past administrations", writes Fox News.

Republican Sen John Cornyn of Texas complained the hearing was being overtaken by "mob rule" His colleague Orrin Hatch from Utah demanded that a "loudmouth" protester who was drowning out his remarks should be removed.

The White House cited "constitutional privilege".

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

If Kavanaugh is confirmed, Trump will have appointed two justices to the nine-member bench in his first 20 months in office.

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

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

"A good judge must be an umpire - a neutral and impartial arbiter who favours no litigant or policy", Kavanaugh said in the excerpts released by the White House.

They fear Kavanaugh will push the court to the right on abortion, guns and other issues, and that he will side with Trump in cases stemming from Robert Mueller's investigation of Trump's 2016 campaign.

The theatrics reflect the impotence of Democrats who lack the votes in the Senate to block Kavanaugh's confirmation.

The hearing got off to a rocky start, with Democrats decrying the withholding of the documents and asking to have the proceedings adjourned as Grassley struggled to maintain order.

Amid the nearly continuous disruption, Texas Republican John Cornyn said it was "the first confirmation hearing for a Supreme Court justice I've seen basically according to mob rule".

"I think you are taking advantage of my decency and my integrity", Grassley fired-back.

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