Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, says opponents' grandstanding over withheld documents pertaining to Judge Brett Kavanaugh's time in the White House is misplaced.
The week of hearings on Kavanaugh's nomination began with a sense of inevitability that the 53-year-old appellate judge eventually will be confirmed, perhaps in time for the new term on October 1 and little more than a month before congressional elections.
Among those introducing Kavanaugh was Democratic friend and attorney Lisa Blatt, who said that because the presidency and Senate are in Republican hands, "Judge Kavanaugh is the best choice that liberals could reasonably hope for in these circumstances". He fiercely defended the independence of the Judiciary.
He called the Supreme Court "the last line of defense for the separation of powers (in the U.S. government), and the rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution".
Democrats still have an uphill battle to derail Kavanaugh's nomination.
"A judge must be independent and must interpret the law, not make the law", he added.
"A good judge must be an umpire - a neutral and impartial arbiter who favors no litigant or policy", he will say, according to excerpts of his prepared remarks. Democrats signaled that they would press Kavanaugh in depth on abortion and gun rights, among other issues, when they get to question the nominee.
Senator Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont, said: "This is the most incomplete, most partisan, and least transparent vetting for any Supreme Court nominee I have ever seen".
"What we've heard is the noise of democracy", said Sen. Feinstein says she thinks she and Kavanaugh are on "totally different wavelengths" re: "common use".
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"We can not possibly move forward, Mr. Chairman, with this hearing", said Harris at the top of proceedings. They want to review 100,000 documents about Kavanaugh's record being withheld by the White House as well as some 42,000 documents released to the committee on a confidential basis on the eve of the hearing, along with others not sought by Republicans on the committee.
Grassley ignored the Democrats' request to stop the hearing, saying it was "out of order". So far, there are no signs of Republican defections. After conferencing over the holiday weekend, the Democrats barely let Kavanaugh's weeklong confirmation get started before taking over, essentially shouting down Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Senators plan to begin questioning him Wednesday morning.
"You are the nominee of President Donald John Trump".
As protesters repeatedly interrupted the session, Republican Sen.
"If you watch the video, you see that's not the case, " Guttenberg said.
Aged just 53, Kavanaugh would replace retired swing-vote Justice Anthony Kennedy in a lifetime appointment, a move that could solidify a hard-right court majority and help shape key aspects of American society for a generation or more.
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.
Kavanaugh sat, fingers intertwined, quietly staring ahead at the committee members as audience members screamed while being dragged out of the hearing room.
In a statement after the incident, a White House spokesman said that "an unidentified individual" had approached Kavanaugh as he was preparing to leave for the confirmation hearing's lunch break and that "before the Judge was able to shake his hand, security had intervened".