Brett Kavanaugh, Supreme Court nominee, sidesteps subpoena question

Brett Kavanaugh, Supreme Court nominee, sidesteps subpoena question

Additionally, all 10 Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee sent a letter to White House Counsel Don McGahn calling on President Trump to stop withholding documents from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's years in the White House.

Asked by senators at his confirmation hearing whether he believed the president could pardon himself, Brett Kavanaugh replied: "The question of self-pardons is something I have never analysed". But with Trump's fellow Republicans holding a slim majority in the Senate, and with no sign of any of them voting against the nomination, it remains likely Kavanaugh will be confirmed to the lifetime job on top U.S. judicial body.

TRT World's North America Correspondent Jon Brain reports from Washington. Grassley, who struggled to maintain order but remained patient, countered that Kavanaugh, 53, has made more documents available for review than the five previous Supreme Court nominees combined. Mike Lee, R-Utah, was on the clock.

The second day of Kavanaugh's hearings started with still more protests - just as Grassley opened with a hope that the proceedings would be under more control than Tuesday's divisive opening. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) asked Kavanaugh.

"I understand the importance of the precedent set forth in Roe v Wade", he said.

Protesters again repeatedly disrupted the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Kavanaugh, including once during Hatch's 30-minute questioning and twice while Sen. "If we can't even have a nominee who can publicly say there is no right for 7.2 billion people to break into the world and demand an abortion - putting Roe aside - i dont [sic] know the goal of us engaging in this business", he said.

He also repeated that he was unaware of the sexual harassment claims that caused Alex Kozinski to retire past year as an appeals court judge. Kozinski resigned last December amid accusations of improper sexual conduct and abusive practices toward law clerks.

Kavanaugh also said courts have to stick to law passed by Congress.

"Religious liberty is another fundamental protection, and the Democrats in the Senate have gotten extremely radical", he said.

Feinstein's assertion that more people would die if Kavanaugh would be confirmed because of his pro-gun stance and his refusal to agree with her assault weapons ban is nothing shy of anti-gun rhetoric at its finest.

When the disruptions continued, Kavanaugh asked Grassley, "Should I proceed?"

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Democrats have voiced concern about the nominee's views on the scope of presidential power.

"I revere the Constitution".

Pressed by Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, a Republican, on whether he would be independent from the president who nominated him, Kavanaugh responded, "No one is above the law".

In the week-long hearings, Kavanaugh's nomination is to succeed retired Justice Anthony Kennedy.

He worked under special counsel Kenneth Starr in his investigation into President Bill Clinton's relationship with intern Monica Lewinsky in the 1990s.

In his 2006 confirmation hearing for the federal appeals court, Kavanaugh said that "I was not involved and am not involved in the questions about the rules governing detention of combatants".

Democrats also pushed for the release of 100,000 more pages they say are being withheld by the administration, particularly those related to his time in ex-president George W Bush's legal office and as White House staff secretary.

Republican Sen. John Cornyn described the scene saying, "this is the first confirmation hearing subject to mob rule".

As they did the day before, a succession of shouting protesters interrupted the session, opposing Kavanaugh's nomination, before being removed by security personnel.

Claiming credit were groups called Demand Justice as well as the Women's March.