More protesters disrupt Kavanaugh confirmation hearing

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Not all Democrats have said they will oppose Mr Kavanaugh, and several may even support his nomination.

Republicans have said that Democrats have more than enough documents to assess Kavanaugh's record, including his 12 years of judicial opinions as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

As protesters in the audience screamed while being dragged out of the hearing room, Kavanaugh sat fingers intertwined, quietly staring ahead. One woman was led out shouting, "Sham president, sham justice".

The Democrats repeatedly interrupted Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), demanding to see more documents on Kavanaugh, some of which have been blocked by the White House, citing executive privilege. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Susan Collins (Maine), the letter emphasizes that "holding 49 Democrats is the only way we can succeed in pressuring flippable Republicans like Sens".

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. Richard J. Durbin of IL for their tepid efforts to thwart the nominee.

Democratic senators plan to press Kavanaugh on abortion and gun rights, among other issues.

"I think the first quality of a good judge in our constitutional system is independence", Kavanaugh added.

"I told the truth and the whole truth in my prior testimony", Kavanaugh said. Federal law allows workers to do just that, specifying that workers can engage in "concerted activities" for their "mutual aid and protection", recognizing strength in numbers.

A Catholic, he has been a US Court of Appeals judge in Washington for the past 11 years.

"Letter to SchumerThe letter (pdf) comes from 13 organizations that have spent weeks raising alarm about President Donald Trump's deeply unpopular nominee for the nation's highest court and warning Democrats, particularly Schumer, that there will be consequences in the November midterm elections if they fail to stand united in opposition to Kavanaugh".

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Kavanaugh signaled respect for the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling legalizing abortion nationwide, calling it an important legal precedent that had been reaffirmed by the justices over the decades. And the nominee should be expected to answer such questions, barring some kind of unusual circumstance that would make it unethical to do so.

The theatrics came as Republicans opened four days of confirmation hearings on Kavanaugh, a federal judge who previously worked for the George W. Bush administration and the independent counsel's office, and has a long paper trail dating to the 1990s.

Will any Republicans ask tough questions?

Kavanaugh made the problem much worse by his refusal to answer two critical questions - whether a president can self-pardon and whether a president must respond to a subpoena.

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.

Republican Sen. John Cornyn described the scene saying, "this is the first confirmation hearing subject to mob rule".

But with Wednesday offering the first opportunity for lawmakers to question Kavanaugh, it is unclear what disruptions, if any, will emerge.

Capitol police eventually let Guttenberg return to the hearing. There has been speculation Booker and Harris might consider 2020 presidential runs.

When Feinstein pressed, Kavanaugh again said he did not want to "give my view on a potential hypothetical" because "each of the eight justices now sitting on the Supreme Court, when they were sitting in my seat, declined to decide potential hypothetical cases".