Kavanaugh claims ‘no agenda’ during marathon session
by Harvest Prude
Posted 9/06/18, 09:08 am
WASHINGTON—Senators grilled Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh for nearly 12 hours on Day Two of his confirmation hearing Wednesday. All 21 members of the Senate Judiciary Committee questioned President Donald Trump’s pick to replace Anthony Kennedy on the high court, with many touching on hot-button topics like abortion, gun control, executive authority, and affirmative action.
Kavanaugh resisted commenting on hypothetical situations, past remarks by Trump, or on current controversies, saying nominees should stay “three ZIP codes away from the line of current events or politics.” Instead, he continually emphasized the importance of respecting Supreme Court precedent, justices remaining independent, and loyalty to the Constitution. “I have no agenda in any direction,” Kavanaugh said.
Republican committee members attempted several times to head off anticipated questions from Democrats, soliciting Kavanaugh’s views on executive power and respecting precedent on cases like Roe v. Wade, but his answers did not stop Democrats from circling back multiple times to the issues of abortion and presidential authority throughout the day and night.
Protesters for the second day interrupted the proceedings repeatedly, shouting, “Sham president, sham justice!” and “Vote no!” as U.S. Capitol Police ushered them quickly out of the room. The efficient and expedient work of the police drew bipartisan praise later in the day.
Senators begin a second round of questioning Kavanaugh on Thursday, with each committee member allocated 20 minutes.
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