Wednesday is the second day of Judge Brett Kavanaugh‘s Supreme Court confirmation hearing. President Donald Trump‘s nominee will be answering questions from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The hearing is set to resume at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time. Watch live in the player above.
Kavanaugh began the tumultuous process on Tuesday, spending most of the time listening to the various members of the Senate Judiciary Committee give their own statements.
Before the hearing even officially began, Democrats tried to put a stop to it, complaining that they had not received thousands of documents related to Kavanaugh’s background, and that thousands of pages that they did receive were not turned over to them until the night before. Kavanaugh has an extensive political background, including work for the President George W. Bush White House. Committee Chairman Charles Grassley denied the motion to delay the hearing and pressed forward, despite vocal protests from the members of the audience, dozens of whom were arrested.
Once the hearing got underway, Democrats continued to voice their concerns, often going back to the issue of missing documents and Kavanaugh’s political history. Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) basically accused Kavanaugh of lying at his 2006 judicial confirmation hearing when he denied being involved in discussions related to the detention of enemy combatants. Republicans countered Kavanaugh’s judicial opinions, which should be the greatest indicators of his qualifications, are public record and should be the focus of the hearing.
Senator Ben Sasse used his time to say how much he was tired of the theatrics and “patently absurd” criticisms that had been lobbed at Kavanaugh that he claimed were not based on truth or even anything to do with the nominee but rooted in misdirected political fervor. Sasse ripped into his Congressional colleagues for not enacting legislation related to sensitive issues, leaving the Supreme Court to clean up the mess and draw the ire of Americans who don’t understand that justices are not political figures.
Towards the end of the day, Kavanaugh himself delivered his opening statement. He spoke of the admiration he has for his mother, a former prosecutor who went on to be a judge. He spoke of the importance of equal protection for all people. He also echoed some of what Sasse said about Supreme Court justices not acting based on politics or policy preferences, but on the law, regardless of its outcome.
“The Supreme Court must never, never be viewed as a partisan institution,” he said.
On Wednesday, Kavanaugh will field questions from Committee members.
[Image via CNN screengrab]