Published: Thu, September 06, 2018
Research | By Dana Schwartz

Hatch questions Kavanaugh about loyalty to Trump in Supreme Court confirmation hearing

Hatch questions Kavanaugh about loyalty to Trump in Supreme Court confirmation hearing

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh said a president isn't "above the law" during the second day of his Senate confirmation hearings. President Donald Trump's nominee will be answering questions from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Kavanaugh said he had also upheld many government regulations over the years.

To me that means figuring out what your views are, judge, on whether a president is above the law. Patrick Leahy of Vermont about pardons.

The Senate Judicial Committee hearing has strong political overtones ahead of the November congressional elections, but as a practical matter Democrats lack the votes to block Kavanaugh's confirmation. The Supreme Court will likely have to make key decisions on the extent of presidential power, with rulings surrounding pardon power, compliance with subpoenas, and presidential immunity. "It has been reaffirmed many times over the past 45 years". Security personnel removed dozens of demonstrators from the room.

But the Senate Judiciary Committee, controlled by Republicans, said they could review numerous same documents sent directly by the Bush library in time for the hearings to begin Tuesday.

"One thing was there were people who had come along... who had a bag of money, and people would hand them a piece of paper, and then they would give them money".

Kavanaugh dodged Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein's question about whether a sitting president can "be required to respond to a subpoena", a query that could come into play as Special Counsel Robert Mueller investigates potential collusion between Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and Russian Federation. "He's not being very specific", she said during a break in the proceedings.

Trump has often criticized the federal judiciary. Right as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Chuck Grassley (R-IA) moves to begin, Democrats interjected and made motions to adjourn the hearing, pointing to the thousands of documents that have yet to be reviewed. Ted Cruz, who is fighting for his own re-election in Texas, apologized to Kavanaugh for the spectacle he said had less to do about the judge's legal record than Trump in the White House. Kavanaugh said he reversed the conviction of a man in a military commissions case who was convicted for an offense that wasn't an identified crime at the time it happened.

"My understanding is that you're asking me to give my view on a potential hypothetical and thats something that each of the eight justices now sitting in the supreme court when they were sitting in my seat declined to decide hypothetical cases", Kavanaugh said.

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The Supreme Court has never answered that question, and it is among the potentially most important since Trump could face a subpoena from special counsel Mueller. His writings that investigations are a distraction were just ideas, he said, not his actual constitutional philosophy.

"I understand the importance of the precedent set forth in Roe v Wade", he said. Specifically, the court in its decision said the agency had the authority to reclassify internet services as a so-called Title II service under the Communications Act.

The obstructionist tactics, while will sure boost some lawmakers' reputations among the increasingly liberal base, may still backfire when it comes to the confirmation of Kavanaugh.

"Careful", a second White House official responded email that was sent to Kavanaugh. Kamala Harris (D-CA) came down hard on Kavanaugh, saying she's deeply concerned that he's too guided by partisanship.

Grassley says the documents are "irrelevant" to Kavanaugh's qualifications as a judge.

Republicans hoped to use the four-day hearing as an opportunity to highlight Kavanaugh's distinguished career as a US Court of Appeals judge in Washington, DC.

Kavanaugh said he had known nothing about the allegations until they were disclosed previous year. "All I can say is that was my view in 1998", Kavanaugh said.

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