Democrats Start Kavanaugh Hearing With Chaos and Delays

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The confirmation hearing for Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, began in chaos as several Democratic senators interrupted the chairman’s opening remarks.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) tried to welcome Kavanaugh and was immediately interrupted by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA).

“Good morning. I welcome everyone to this confirmation hearing on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to serve as associate justice,” Grassley said.

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“Mr. Chairman? Mr. Chairman? Mr. Chairman? I would like to be recognized for a question before we proceed,” Harris interrupted.

“Mr. Chairman I would like to be recognized for a question before we proceed. Mr. Chairman. I would like to be recognized to ask a question before we proceed. The committee received [requested documents] just last night, less than 15 hours ago,” Harris went on. “We believe this hearing should be postponed.”

Sen. Corey Booker (D-NJ) gave a long speech appealing to Grassley to stop the hearing. In the speech he asked Grassley what he is trying to hide.

.@CoryBooker: “What is the rush? What are we trying to hide by not having the documents out front?”
“Democrats push for a delay in confirmation hearing over Kavanaugh documents.”

“You are taking advantage of my decency and integrity,” Grassley said.

Booker also said:

It is very hard to perform our role of ‘advise and consent’ when we do not have a thorough vetting of the background of the candidate,” Democratic Sen. Cory Booker said, answering why he and other Democrats want Kavanaugh’s hearing after his records are made available”

Then later Sen. Michael Blumenthal moved to adjourn the meeting before it even started due to lack of access to needed documents.

.@SenBlumenthal moves to adjourn the Kavanaugh hearing – “we have been denied real access to the documents we need to advise and consent, which turns this hearing into a charade and a mockery of our norms.” #WhatAreTheyHiding

It is clear that Senate Democrats on the Judiciary Committee are trying to make a political statement, and to get publicity this morning. They know they ultimately are powerless to stop Grassley and other Republicans from railroading through Trump’s right-wing choice for a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court.

However, Senators Harris, Booker and Blumenthal also know that the Kavanaugh hearings will dominate the news for several weeks, and the more they are able to capture headlines, the more they help Democrats in the midterm elections.

Trump, Grassley, and other Republicans may ultimately win the battle to put Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court. But the choice is unpopular and many of his opinions are unpopular.

With a right-wing Supreme Court majority, it is likely that decisions will be made contrary to the wishes of the vast majority of American voters. And when this happens Democrats will benefit in perhaps the most important way of all: in the voting booth.