Political quarrels and confusion disrupted the start of Conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s hearing on Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Appointed to the Supreme Court by President Trump, Brett Kavanaugh could turn the country’s highest court right for many years.
During the first of four days of hearings, the senators quarreled for more than an hour, the screams of the demonstrators frequently breaking the atmosphere of the usual muffled Senate.
As soon as the proceedings began, the Democrats called for an adjournment of the proceedings one after the other to allow time to study the 42,000 pages of documents on Mr. Kavanaugh’s career at the last minute. Senators only had access to it the day before, a holiday in the United States. Their demands were met with disgrace by the chairman of the commission, Republican Charles Grassley.
The Democrats are also demanding an additional 100,000 pages of documents related to Judge Kavanaugh’s passage to the White House as George W. Bush’s advisor. The White House refuses to make them public, citing constitutional privilege.
Democrats suspect Kavanaugh, in particular, of having played a role in decisions related to the aggressive interrogation techniques conducted during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“I have never had a hearing like this, where documents are so difficult to obtain,” said Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, number two of the commission, just before the opening of the hearing.
The presence of several demonstrators opposed to the appointment of Mr. Kavanagh inside the room also disrupted the proceedings of the Senate committee. Police and security agents evacuated some of the protesters.
Right turn of the Supreme Court
With the arrival of Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, the Conservatives would now hold the balance of power for many, many years.
To date, the Supreme Court, which consists of nine judges, has four judges of Liberal allegiance and four of conservative allegiance. The so-called “pivot judge,” Anthony Kennedy, retired last June at the age of 81.
Although he is considered a Conservative, Judge Kennedy has repeatedly sided with his Liberal colleagues on important social issues, including the issue of abortion and gay rights.
But with Conservative Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination last year by Donald Trump and Brett Kavanaugh’s upcoming arrival on the US Supreme Court, Democrats fear that Republicans will now have a court that will favor their interests in the litigation that will be brought before them.
The right to abortion on the front line
The Democrats, who serve on the four-day committee studying Justice Kavanaugh’s candidacy, are keen to follow the magistrate closely on a number of fundamental issues, including the very sensitive question of the right to abortion.
“There will be sparks during this audition. The sparks will fly and the heat will be intense, “promised last Friday the Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal.
Democrats are concerned that the arrival of a fifth Conservative judge in the Supreme Court could result in a reversal or weakening of previous judgments, including that of 1973 establishing the right to abortion in the United States.
In this regard, Brett Kavanaugh, who has been with the District of Columbia Court of Appeal since 2006, is known for his highly conservative positions.
Last year, he was particularly notable in opposing the fact that a teenager immigrant federal responsibility may benefit from an abortion.
The Democrats place their hopes on the opposition of the two Republican Senators in favor of the right to abortion, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, to cancel the nomination, in a Senate where the Republican majority is only one seat, 50 to 49, in the absence of a successor to Senator John McCain .
But so far, neither has expressed opposition to Kavanaugh’s appointment.
Supporter of Presidential Immunity
In addition to having to explain his positions on abortion, Brett Kavanaugh will also have to give his opinion on the investigation led by the special legal adviser Robert Mueller on the interference of Russia in the presidential elections of 2016.
He will also be closely questioned about the possible collusion between Donald Trump’s campaign team and the Russian secret services during the campaign.
Cumbersome investigations for the White House, which could otherwise lead to prosecution or the laying of direct charges against President Trump.
In 2009, Justice Kavanaugh wrote in a legal journal that the US President should not be criminally or criminally prosecuted while on duty to avoid distract from his duties.
Brett Kavanaugh says he will be “a judge of law”
However, in the remarks he prepared for the Appointment Confirmation hearing, quoted by The Associated Press, Kavanaugh J. stated that, regardless of his personal views, he intended to be “a judge of law” .
He adds that he is not “a pro-plaintiff or pro-defendant judge”, but an “arbitrator dedicated to the decision of cases in accordance with the Constitution and US laws”.
A long political course
Prior to serving on the Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia, Brett Kavanaugh worked for four years for independent prosecutor Kenneth Starr, who in the 1990s investigated the relationship between Democratic President Bill Clinton and a student intern. the White House, Monica Lewinsky.
He then spent five years in the service of Republican President George W. Bush.
Brett Kavanaugh is the second judge appointed to the US Supreme Court by President Trump since he took office almost two years ago.
In the spring of 2017, he selected Neil Gorsuch , a Colorado Court of Appeals Judge, who was recognized for his support of religious rights, to succeed Judge Antonin Scalia, who passed away in 2016.
Although hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee begin on Tuesday, Kavanaugh’s examination will only begin on Wednesday, and votes in committee and in the Senate on his appointment may be held later in September.