Saturday, 20 October, 2018


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

Xinhua News Agency  Newscom Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh swears in during his Senate confirmation hearing. Ting Shen Xinhua News Agency Newscom
Kristine Garrett | 06 September, 2018, 13:12

Kavanaugh's comments will do little to pacify skeptics, who have cited his opposition to a court ruling previous year that an undocumented immigrant teenager who was in government custody was entitled to seek an abortion.

Democrats are keen to push Mr Kavanaugh on the issue, he adds.

Burck, a private attorney, is a Kavanaugh associate who works with the George W. Bush presidential library and is helping oversee the decisions about which documents from Kavanaugh's time as Bush's associate counsel should be given to Congress or made public. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) held up a sign during Durbin's opening statement noting that "Brett Kavanaugh said Obamacare was unprecedented and unlawful". "I understand the issue, but as a judge my job as I saw it was to follow the Second Amendment opinion of the Supreme Court whether I agree with it or disagree with it".

"The Constitution itself seems to dictate, in addition, that congressional investigation must take place in lieu of criminal investigation when the President is the subject of investigation, and that criminal prosecution can occur only after the President has left office", he wrote in the Georgetown Law Review. "So sad to see!"

With his wife, two children and parents sitting behind him, Kavanaugh called himself a judge with a straightforward judicial philosophy.

Republicans said at the end of August that they had received 415,000 pages of documents, of which it had deemed 147,000 to be "committee confidential", meaning they could be viewed by any senator but not publicly disclosed.

Sens. Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska are the only two Republicans even remotely open to voting against Kavanaugh, though neither has said she would do so.

A protester is removed by Capitol police during the hearing of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. He hit the expected notes, invoking the importance of landmark Supreme Court decisions like Brown v. Board of Education - which Senator Kamala Harris had used as in her opening statement as a reason he shouldn't be confirmed - and U.S. v. Nixon, the unanimous decision that limited the scope of presidential power by ordering then-President Richard Nixon to hand over tape recordings from his White House that ultimately led to his resignation.

"What are we trying to hide?" Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) asked Kavanaugh.

On this day of bloviating, it was Sen.

Grassley ignored the Democrats' request to stop the hearing, saying it was "out of order".

In an August 31 letter, Bill Burck informed the Committee for the first time that almost 102,000 pages of documents from Judge Kavanaugh's work in the White House Counsel's Office are being withheld from the Committee and the public based on "constitutional privilege". Some Democrats, including Sen. Richard Blumenthal of CT asked that the hearing be canceled.

If confirmed, Kavanaugh would replace Kennedy, who as a frequent swing vote on the bench often sided with liberal justices on issues like affirmative action, LGBT rights and abortion.

Senate Democrats have vowed a fierce fight.

"If Brett Kavanaugh becomes a Supreme Court justice, will he help gut or overturn Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in America?" tweeted Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate.

Kavanaugh refused, as all other Supreme Court judges have before him, to answer hypothetical questions about impeachment. While he said he had no inkling his name would come up at the hearing, he said it was not entirely unexpected given that Democrats have for years complained about his access to the documents. One group of protesters outside the hearing room, sponsored by a group called Demand Justice, dressed up as characters from "The Handmaid's Tale", a novel and TV show about a dystopian society in which women are forced into sexual servitude.

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