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WATCH LIVE: Day 2 of Brett Kavanaugh Senate Confirmation Hearings

WATCH LIVE: Day 2 of Brett Kavanaugh Senate Confirmation Hearings

Will we hear from Kavanaugh today?

Today at 9:30 AM, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will face day 2 of his confirmation hearings with the Senate Judiciary Committee. Maybe today we will actually hear Kavanaugh speak! The Democrats spent almost the first two hours trying to convince Chairman Chuck Grassley to adjourn the hearings over the lack of documents.

Then the Senators had their opening statements, which took all day, and protesters interrupted a lot of the proceedings.

Today each senator will have 30 minutes to question Kavanaugh.

As I mentioned yesterday, Fortune magazine highlighted a few questions Kavanaugh will likely have to answer:

Kavanaugh is likely to face questions about abortion, executive power, and sexual harassment. Given the Republicans’ narrow margin in the Senate, assuring the party’s two pro-choice members of his commitment to protect the abortion rights of Roe v. Wade will be essential to Kavanaugh’s confirmation. That pair, Sens. Susan Collins (R–Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R–Alaska), could tip the 50-49 Republican majority against Kavanaugh.

The judge’s statements about protecting the executive from independent counsel prosecutors will likewise be scrutinized in light of the Mueller investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and its possible ramifications for Trump. Kavanaugh is on record questioning the ruling that required Nixon to turn over his White House recordings, and he’s talked of overturning protections for independent counsels.

Allegiance to the President?

Kavanaugh promises to remain independent from the president who nominated him and rule in accordance with the law and the Constitution. He also said that “the first quality of a good judge in our constitutional system in independence…not being swayed or public pressure.”

Kavanaugh also said that no one is above the law, including the executive branch.

Feinstein asked him about what changed his views on investigating sitting presidents. He said it was 9/11.

Feinstein wants to know if Kavanaugh believes that a sitting president should answer a subpoena. It sounds like he doesn’t want to answer a hypothetical question.


Sen. Dianne Feinstein brings up guns right away. She pushes him on “common use” of those scary AR-15 type guns in the Heller case and insists that they’re not common use. Kavanaugh disagrees and said that most people don’t realize that most handguns are semi-automatic.

Feinstein asked how he can reconcile his position with hundreds of school shootings. He said he follows the 2nd Amendment.

Roe vs. Wade

Feinstein then brings up Roe vs. Wade and wants to know if Kavanaugh agrees that women’s control over her reproductive rights impacts her economic position.

Kavanaugh also says that the case is settled law and has been reaffirmed many times over the past 45 years. Basically the exchange is this:

To sum it up: Kavanaugh will follow the law, which is Roe vs. Wade.

Graham wants to know if the justices can just get together over lunch and overturn RvW. Of course not!


Sen. Orrin Hatch brings up how people have bashed Kavanaugh over his supposed hatred of women, but reminds them that many have said that he’s a big supporter of women in law. The majority of his clerks are female.

Kavanaugh said 84 women signed a letter from the Bush WH to support him. He also noticed a NYT article that said there were only 7 women clerks in SCOTUS and he it gave him thought. He then made sure that he told law professors that he wanted to see a broad spectrum of people, including women. His first year on the bench he made sure he included as many women clerks as possible and that women weren’t excluded.

Kavanaugh promised he will continue his practice if he sits on SCOTUS.

Judge Kozinski

Hatch tackled this subject before the Democrats could so he can respond to the “guilt by association” accusations. Kavanaugh clerked for Kozinski who resigned last year after allegations of misconduct.

Kavanaugh said he did not know and that no woman should be subjected to harassment in the workplace. He also wants women to have better tools to report on workplace harrasment.

Chevron Doctrine

Hatch brought up the Chevron doctrine. Kavanaugh stated that “the accumulation of power in one body would be the definition of tyranny.” He also says that he is “not a skeptic of regulation at all,” but is “skeptic of unauthorized regulation” and of illegal regulation.

You can read about the Chevron Deference here. It’s when SCOTUS “set forth a legal test as to when the court should defer to the agency’s answer or interpretation, holding that such judicial deference is appropriate where the agency’s answer was was not unreasonable, so long as the Congress had not spoken directly to the precise issue at question.”

Old Emails Case

Sen. Patrick Leahy brought up an old stolen emails case. Thed Bush WH somehow got questions that the Democrats planned to ask Bush judicial nominees. It led to the resignation of the then-Senate Majority Leader’s chief of staff Manuel Miranda.

Graham asked him more straight forward questions. Kavanaugh said that he had no idea he had possession of stolen material.


Leahy’s other subject is warrantless surveillance. He played a video where Kavanaugh talked about a terrorist surveillance program.

Kavanaugh has said before that he was not read into that program.

Graham provides more coherent questions. Kavanaugh said that he was not involved or even helped write the program.


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casualobserver | September 5, 2018 at 9:04 am

I’m waiting for people to figure out the decoding algorithm to find the supremacist messages in his answers. Surely the left is smart enough to figure it out since they are all about science and being smart and not evil and all that…..Hopefully it’s as simple as reconstructing every third word he says or something like that.

Or maybe it will be the twitch in his eyebrows…..or how his fingers move when he is speaking….or…
(utter sarcasm on my part)

Protesters are getting ready. I saw the handmaids gathering at Shake Shack in Union Station for a quick breakfast.

    MarkJ in reply to dadgad. | September 5, 2018 at 9:34 am

    Dressing up like a refugee from a cosplay convention. Yeah, that’ll really leave a mark on Kavanaugh. (*Seinfeld eye roll*)

    Chuckin Houston in reply to dadgad. | September 5, 2018 at 9:48 am

    I hope none of them drank their juice through a plastic straw. That would lead to a revocation of their SJW credentials and they’d have to put away their handmaids costumes until Halloween.

Which Senator gave Sarsour a ticket? Did she get out of jail? Will she be there today ? Oh the drama of being a leftist.

Which Senator gave Sarsour a ticket? Did she get out of jail? Will she be there today ? Oh the drama of being a leftist.

Well I see Zina is in position to troll the libs. I love it. She was the director of Ted Cruz’s campaign. Sounds like one smart cookie. Sounds like Brett has the respect of powerful people backing him.

Protesters are a joke. Please link these people back to the democrats.

Go Brett! Go Brett! Go Brett!

“Progressives’ are angry at Schumer for some reason. What is he supposed to do? The only thing progressive about ‘Progressives’ is their deepening level of mental illness.

    HamiltonNJ in reply to Whitewall. | September 5, 2018 at 11:00 am

    Apparently Schumer is not doing enough to stop Kavanaugh or something.
    I guess they think that Chuck can force people to vote no.

Doesn’t Congress have it’s own jail? Take the protestors to that jail instead of a DC jail.

“Today each senator will have 30 minutes to question Kavanaugh.”

“Today each senator will have 28 minutes to bloviate and will ask a question with eight components to answer in the last 2 minutes.”


Stare Decisis, according to Kavanaugh, is a method whereby the constitution of the United States can be legitimately amended without the approval of the various states.

If judiciary can ignore the constitution long enough, then the constitution has, for all practical purposes, been amended.

Former Hillary Spokesman Brian Fallon said Senate Democrats brought a “butter knife to a gun fight”. I disagree. I think they brought their usual leftist brawlers, but didn’t count on them actually being arrested.

Kavanaugh all but apologized to Feinstein for overturning the assault weapon ban in DC, strongly implying that Stare Decisis was the basis for his decision.

I was left with the impression that had it been up to him (no Heller decision), he would have allowed the assault weapon ban to survive.

Kavanaugh claims that he beleives in ‘equality’ and that’s why he appointed more female clerks than male clerks.

I’m beginning to believe that Kavanaugh is a liberal who, as many past justices have done, will ‘grow’ once appointed to the court.

    healthguyfsu in reply to MSO. | September 5, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    No doubt he is a centrist, but everyone is a centrist in front of a confirmation hearing like this one.

It is tough to respond to questions based on fabrication and lies …. one has to skirt the issues raised or directly call them out. There are too many marginal RINOs to tell the truth to.

Leahy forgot to ask him if he’d ever stuffed classified documents in his shorts.

Brett Kavanaugh says it’s very important to him to hire the “best.” Most of the clerks he has hired have been women.

How’d he work that trick? Simply not interview men for the positions?

[T]he accumulation of power in one body would be the definition of tyranny

I thought it looked familiar. “Publius”, believed to be James Madison, Federalist #47—

“The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”

Unfortunately, the Chevron Doctrine is about assigning authority to a bureaucracy, which is not one of the entities listed by Madison in #47. He was talking about a balance of power between the actual branches of government, not about some new tar-baby monster created to act as an uncontrolled pseudo-executive.

In any event, if Kavanaugh is at least philosophically following Madison—one of our most underrated Presidents—he can’t go too far wrong.

I love Kavanaugh citing Casey’s “parental counsel” content as precedent that he followed in the illegal minor abortion case, to a transparently frustrated Durbin.

regulus arcturus | September 5, 2018 at 1:28 pm

Through all of the bloviating yesterday, Ben Sasse (not a huge fan) gave a tour de force opening statement/dissertation on how and why these hearings, and our larger politics, are so contentious.

The balance of power amongst the 3 branches of government is out of whack, thanks largely to Congress’ abdication of responsibility –

casualobserver | September 5, 2018 at 2:30 pm


I turned on the proceedings at about 2:10 Eastern. As I post this it has been 20 minutes. 4 times – I repeat FOUR TIMES – some shrill voice can be heard but whatever they are shrieking is not clear. They mostly interrupted the Dem Senator interviewing (Whitehouse). How stupid is that??? LOL

At least they aren’t getting on camera – or not on the coverage I am watching.

Turned off already….

Blumenthal is one strange bird

    Milhouse in reply to MarkSmith. | September 5, 2018 at 6:06 pm

    He served in Vietnam, you know. Just like John Kerry. Who also served in Vietnam, though not many people know this.

    Well, actually, it depends on what “in” is. Blumenthal’s service was more like Tom Harkin’s than John Kerry’s. Neither of them ever actually set foot in Vietnam, but when they claimed to have served “in Vietnam” they meant “during Vietnam”. Kind of like George W Bush, actually, except that he never pretended anything else. He knew the difference between “in” and “during”.

Hirono thinks she is a judge and distorting the laws. She is so out of her league. She sounds like she has been drinking.