Win McNamee/Getty Pictures
The primary day of Decide Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Courtroom affirmation hearings was lengthy on quarreling, protesting and speechifying. Whereas good theater, there was little truly discovered concerning the man whom President Trump has nominated for a lifetime seat on the nation’s highest courtroom.
Listed here are a number of takeaways from Tuesday’s typically contentious session:
1. Democrats got here prepared for a struggle
Being within the minority, Democrats cannot do a lot to cease Kavanaugh’s nomination, so long as Republicans stay unified of their help, which thus far they’ve been. So Democrats formulated one other technique: to impede and disrupt the proceedings and query the legitimacy of the method. Their weapon was the paperwork that they are saying Republicans and the White Home have refused to supply. They even got here up with the Twitter hashtag #WhatAreTheyHiding.
As NPR’s Scott Horsley reported:
“Democrats complained that the Trump administration blocked the release of more than 100,000 pages of documents detailing Kavanaugh’s service in the George W. Bush White House. Other documents were released at the last minute, or not at all — including documents from 2003 to 2006 when Kavanaugh served as Bush’s staff secretary.
” ‘There is a 35-month black gap in your White Home profession the place we have been denied entry to any and all paperwork,’ Durbin stated. ‘Throughout that time period, President Bush was contemplating same-sex marriage — an modification to ban it — abortion, government energy, detainees, torture, Supreme Courtroom nominees, warrantless wiretapping.’
” ‘Before sitting on the bench, you were a political operative, involved in the most political and partisan controversies of our time,’ added Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. ‘It is precisely those views that are being hidden from us today.’ “
That is to not say there are not any paperwork. In truth, the White Home launched some 42,000 on the eve of Tuesday’s listening to, however with the caveat that they have been “committee confidential,” which means solely senators might view them and they might not be launched to the general public.
Democrats additionally referred to as for a vote to adjourn Tuesday’s listening to, which not surprisingly, Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, refused to carry. Republican Sen. John Cornyn accused Democrats of trying “mob rule” on the committee after their frequent interruptions in the course of the morning’s proceedings.
2. Committee Democrats weren’t the one protesters throughout Day 1
There have been frequent disruptions by demonstrators contained in the listening to room, typically interrupting the Democrats’ interruptions. Many expressed considerations over the destiny of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Courtroom determination that legalized abortion. At one level, a protester could possibly be heard shouting “more women are going to be subject to back-alley abortions.” And out of doors the listening to room a gaggle of girls wearing bonnets and purple robes from The Handmaid’s Story stood silently. U.S. Capitol Police say they arrested a complete of 70 demonstrators Tuesday.
three. A Trump tweet haunts Tuesday’s listening to
Democrats and Republicans are involved about President Trump’s Labor Day tweet, during which he attacked the Justice Division for prosecuting instances towards GOP Reps. (and early Trump backers) Duncan Hunter and Chris Collins, “just ahead of the Mid-Terms.” Trump added, “Two easy wins now in doubt because there is not enough time. Good job Jeff [Sessions]”
Two lengthy operating, Obama period, investigations of two extremely popular Republican Congressmen have been delivered to a properly publicized cost, simply forward of the Mid-Phrases, by the Jeff Periods Justice Division. Two straightforward wins now unsure as a result of there’s not sufficient time. Good job Jeff……
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September three, 2018
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Unwell., stated Kavanaugh was the nominee of “a president who has shown us consistently that he is contemptuous of the rule of law,” saying he fired the FBI director and “harasses and threatens his own attorney general on almost a daily basis.” Addressing Kavanaugh, Durbin continued, “and it’s that president who’s decided you are his man,” asking, “Are people nervous about this? Are they concerned about it? Of course they are.”
Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., stated “the comments from the White House yesterday about trying to politicize the Department of Justice — they were wrong.” Sasse added that “they should be condemned, and my guess is Brett Kavanaugh would condemn them.”
And Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, one other GOP senator who has at occasions criticized the president, stated Trump’s remark was “why a lot of people are concerned about this administration and why they want to ensure that our institutions hold.”
four. 2020 aspirants get some airtime
It is by no means too quickly to start out enthusiastic about the subsequent presidential election, proper? And whereas the Senate is full of people that consider they might, or ought to be president, there are a minimum of a number of Democrats on the Judiciary Committee who’re believed to harbor actual aspirations for the Oval Workplace.
Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., calling on Republicans within the committee’s majority to launch extra Kavanaugh-related paperwork, used some hovering rhetoric. “This is a hearing about who will sit on the highest court of our land,” she famous. “This is a hearing about who will sit in a house that symbolizes our system of justice in this country. And some of the most important principles behind the integrity of our system of justice is that we have due process and we have transparency.”
Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., raised some eyebrows when he emailed an attraction through the listening to “to join me in this fight and oppose Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.” Whereas it was not a direct fundraising pitch — as the one request was to signal a petition — the timing was suspicious to at the very least one in every of Booker’s GOP colleagues, Sasse, who referred to as Booker out on Twitter, saying “this stuff will make us sicker, not healthier.”
These things will make us sicker, not more healthy.
Sending out fundraising emails DURING A HEARING about opposition to a Supreme Courtroom nominee isn’t the job of a Senator. It’s cynical play-acting for a political base. https://t.co/JCmIb7OwCW
— Ben Sasse (@BenSasse) September four, 2018
5. Kavanaugh once more performs up his household and regular-guy bona fides
No elitist he, this D.C. federal appeals courtroom decide with two levels from Yale who was counselor to a president. Kavanaugh, when it was lastly time to make his opening assertion Tuesday night earlier than the listening to wrapped for the day, careworn the robust ladies in his household, name-checking his mom, spouse and two daughters. He additionally burdened his Jesuit faculty background and his love of teaching (“I love coaching,” he stated). The remarks have been just like some Kavanaugh made when he was named by Trump in July. Kavanaugh additionally talked about sitting within the stands together with his father, watching the Baltimore Orioles and Washington’s NFL staff, talking of “a lifetime of friendship, forged in stadium seats over hot dogs and beer.”
He insisted that he might be “a pro-law judge” and a “team player on the Team of Nine.” Committee members will try on Wednesday to find out what positions he’ll play on that group.
6. Democrats see a chance in tried handshake
Maybe the day’s most viral second got here when the daddy of a teenage woman who was killed in the course of the mass capturing in Parkland, Fla., approached Kavanaugh throughout a break within the listening to and provided to shake the decide’s hand.
“I invited Fred Guttenberg to sit in the audience at today’s hearing because the Supreme Court affects the lives of real people,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the committee’s prime Democrat, tweeted after the listening to. “He knows firsthand how Brett Kavanaugh’s extreme views on guns could lead to more massacres. Thank you Fred, for honoring your daughter.”
A photograph of the second taken by an Related Press photographer that shortly made the rounds on-line appeared to point out Kavanaugh refusing Guttenberg’s handshake.
“He pulled his hand back, turned his back to me and walked away,” Guttenberg tweeted concerning the second. “I guess he did not want to deal with the reality of gun violence.”
However a video posted on Twitter by NBC Information from a special perspective exhibits somebody who seems to be a Hill staffer seemingly interceding within the interplay.
Fred Guttenberg, father of Parkland sufferer, Jaime, tries to shakes arms with Brett Kavanaugh: “My daughter was murdered at Parkland.”
White Home says an “unidentified individual approached” Kavanaugh, however “before the judge was able to shake his hand, security had intervened.” pic.twitter.com/IerpDMOW0h
— NBC Information (@NBCNews) September four, 2018
“As Judge Kavanaugh left for his lunch break, an unidentified individual approached him,” White Home spokesman Raj Shah tweeted Tuesday afternoon. “Before the Judge was able to shake his hand, security had intervened.” In a second tweet, Shah included a video clip of the second.
By Tuesday afternoon, a hyperlink to on-line protection of the tried handshake had been posted on the Twitter account of Demand Justice, a Democratic activist group preventing Kavanaugh’s nomination to the courtroom, and to the group’s different social media accounts on Fb and Instagram. “You need to see this,” the Demand Justice tweet stated.