Garland is the chief judge of the appeals court on which Kavanaugh has served.
His past views, reinforced by testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, suggest Kavanaugh would permit government to impose stricter regulation of abortion, for example, with additional requirements that could delay the procedure or in stiffer rules for physicians who would perform it. Kavanaugh reaffirmed, "It's settled as a precedent of the Supreme Court entitled the respect under principles of stare decisis...most importantly, reaffirmed in Planned Parenthood versus Casey in 1992". Richard Durbin, D-Ill., theatrically pulled out a copy of the Constitution and said he could not find the name of William Burck in the section where it says Congress should provide "advice and consent" to nominations. "So sad to see!"
Protesters dressed in The Handmaid's Tale costume, protest outside the hearing room where Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing. They are also conducting phone call campaigns in each senator's home state.
Cornyn and Cruz, however, took aim at Democrats and lobbed basic questions to Kavanaugh. "We have not had an opportunity to have a meaningful hearing", said Sen.
Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of IL asked Kavanaugh if he would seek a delay in his hearing so the paper trail could be vetted.
Grassley and company this week are striving mightily to ensure that a historically unpopular president who picked a historically unpopular Supreme Court nominee will likely get that nominee onto the court despite an unprecedented amount of secrecy over the nominee's record. Democrats have been particularly interested in whether documents would reveal more about whether Kavanaugh played a role in developing Bush's policy on torture.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, left, speaks with Sen. The hearing is set to resume at 9:30 a.m. They characterized the hearing as a "charade and mockery of our norms".
Republicans also have released some but not all of the existing documents concerning Kavanaugh's two years as a lawyer in the White House Counsel's office prior to becoming staff secretary.
Republicans hold a narrow majority in the Senate and are expected to confirm Kavanaugh. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer complained it was impossible to go through them in time.
"I'm not thinking of any right now, senator", Kavanaugh responded.
Kavanaugh also described U.S. v. Nixon, the supreme court ruling that ordered then President Richard Nixon to turn over secret White House recordings toward the end of the Watergate investigation, as "one of the greatest moments in American judicial history". They're also asserting that the Senate is "phoning in" its responsibility to carefully vet judicial nominees, calling the process a "sham".
The back two rows of the hearing room are reserved for the public.
Irked by a protester who interrupted him, Sen.
But Booker says he can't share the email with the nominee because it is among those that have been labelled "committee confidential" - available to senators, but not the public. "We shouldn't have to put up with this kind of stuff".
The Supreme Court is often thought of as nine separate judges, rather than a team. But the Democratic frustrations that boiled over on September 4 had been simmering for more than two years.
But with Wednesday offering the first opportunity for lawmakers to question Kavanaugh, it is unclear what disruptions, if any, will emerge.
Several dozen protesters, shouting one by one, disrupted the hearing at several points and were removed by police. Read his opening statement if you want to understand the scope of what Senate Republicans are seeking to achieve by rushing the Kavanaugh nomination through before anyone has a meaningful chance to review more information about his 35 months of executive branch service. The court begins its next term in October.
With his wife, two children and parents sitting behind him, Kavanaugh called himself a judge with a straightforward judicial philosophy.