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Judge Kavanaugh Says His Loyalty Is to the Constitution, Not Trump

Xinhua News Agency  Newscom

"I'm a judge, I'm not making policy decisions", Kavanaugh said. Patrick Leahy grilled him on pardons and also got no real substantive response. Still, he began his long day in the witness chair by declaring that "no one is above the law". Some Democrats, including Sen. Richard Blumenthal of CT, "selecting a justice on the Supreme Court who potentially will cast a decisive vote in his own case".

A few hours later, Sen. Kavanaugh said he couldn't recall any conversations, but asked for a list of lawyers at the firm. The two also worked together to screen applicants who wanted to clerk for Justice Anthony Kennedy, whom Kavanaugh clerked for and whom he would replace.

That prompted a complaint from Republicans that Booker can't "cross-examine somebody about a document you cannot see".

Grassley ignored the Democrats' request to stop the hearing, saying it was "out of order". Nine women were arrested in the nearby Dirksen Senate Office Building for staging a protest dressed as characters from "The Handmaid's Tale", a novel and TV series that depicts a dystopian future where women are controlled by the government and forcibly used for breeding purposes.

On the second day of Judge Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing, lawmakers took their first opportunity to grill him over the administration's withholding of documents from his time in the Bush White House, gun legislation, and whether a sitting president can be compelled to respond to a subpoena.

One TV viewer gave Kavanaugh a rave review.

Senior Democrat Dianne Feinstein questioned in her opening remarks on Tuesday whether the nominee would leave the landmark Roe v Wade abortion law untouched if confirmed. But Archives says the review of those records will not be finished until the end of October.

Trump characterized the opposition to Kavanaugh as a sign of desperation by Democrats, who don't have the votes to derail Kavanaugh from being seated on the court because they are in the minority.

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.

Kavanaugh responded: "I am not here to assess comments made in the political arena, because the risk is I'll be drawn into the political arena". The Connecticut Democrat said it looked as if Kavanaugh landed on the list because of his view blasting what Kavanaugh described as "abortion on demand".

Pressed by Feinstein on his comment several years ago that US v. Nixon might have been wrongly decided, he said his quote - shown on a poster above the senator - was "not in context" and "I have repeatedly called USA v. Nixon one of the four greatest moments in court history".

Mueller has not subpoenaed Trump, but it remains an option in his ongoing criminal investigation of Russian meddling in the election two years ago.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat, asked whether a president could be criminally investigated or indicted.

Republicans hold a narrow majority in the Senate and are expected to confirm Kavanaugh.

"Precedent's not like a cafeteria" where he could pick and choose what to follow, Kavanaugh stressed.

"You said that Jane Doe should be unable to decide the right to choose because she didn't have family and friends to help make her decisions", Feinstein continued. Abortion opponents hope he'll be a vote to uphold additional restrictions on the procedure and even possibly overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that established a constitutional right to an abortion. His conservative record includes a dissenting opinion past year that would have denied immediate access to an abortion for an immigrant teenager in federal custody.

Protesters at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court, dressed as characters in "The Handmaid's Tale".

Judge Kavanaugh's hearing will resume Wednesday. The Republicans guiding Kavanaugh know today that they have the votes to ensure his committee endorsement and a narrow majority to win in the full Senate.

"I'm very honored to be here", Kavanaugh said.

"This is something I've never gone through before", Grassley acknowledged. "They will say anything, and are only looking to inflict pain and embarrassment to one of the most highly renowned jurists to ever appear before Congress". Republicans have declined to seek those papers, and instead have gathered documents from his work as White House counsel to Bush.

But Kavanaugh declined to engage, saying, "I do not believe that's consistent" with the way prior nominations have been handled.

Kavanaugh also said he was unaware of the domestic violence allegations against Rob Porter, who was President Donald Trump's staff secretary.

Kavanaugh said his earlier testimony was "100 percent accurate".

A man whose daughter died in the Stoneman Douglas shooting tried to shake the hand of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh during a break in Tuesday's confirmation hearing. John McCain of Arizona.

One of several red-state Democrats watched as potentially voting for Kavanaugh, Sen.