Proceedings interrupted by protesters; Democrats raise issues with process
Photo courtesy Eric Draper of Whitehouse.gov archives | Brett Kavanaugh (left) was sworn in for U.S. Circuit Judge by Justice Anthony Kennedy (right) in the Rose Garden in 006. Kavanaugh has been nominated by President Donald Trump to replace Kennedy on the bench.
United State Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh completed a three-day hearing conducted by the Senate Judiciary committee on Sunday. Kavanaugh is President Donald Trump’s nominee to replace Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy who is retiring.
Kavanaugh is known to hold an originalist interpretation of the Constitution, which is a stricter form of its original interpretation. Kavanaugh has argued that the president should not be subject to investigation or questioning while in office and has also questioned the precedent decision of Roe v. Wade.
Ronald Springman, a Xavier professor and criminal appellate lawyer said “Judge Brett Kavanaugh received the highest rating from the American Bar Association, which politically tends to lean more to the left. There is no question he is bright and well qualified. The issue is the process. Supreme Court Justices are nominated by the president on the ‘advice and consent of the Senate.’”
The proceedings were interrupted by protestors numerous times throughout the course of the three days, with 227 arrests made. The hearing had largely been about whether personal political views could be seen as disqualifying.
Democratic senators called into question the validity of the nomination process , claiming that a legitimate hearing could not take place until 42,000 documents, only made available to them at the eleventh hour, could be analyzed. In addition, thousands of documents have yet to be made available to the public.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) responded to the claims by saying that “the committee was in complete compliance according to the Presidential Records Act of 1978.”
After the proceedings, the issue of presidential power was discussed by the committee.
The concern for Democratic senators, outspoken critics of the nomination, is the belief that Kavanaugh’s appointment is a political insurance policy for Trump. This is due to a law review written in 2009 by Kavanaugh that Congress could potentially write a law to exempt the president of investigation and prosecution while in office. Congress has yet to introduce such a law.
The Republican senators supportive of Kavanaugh’s appointment said Kavanaugh’s record showed he was a qualified judge and a family man. to prove him as a qualified judge and family man.
When asked by Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) if he thought the ruling of Roe vs. Wade was correct, Kavanaugh only said, “I would respect it as precedent.” Legal experts predict that with a fifth conservative leaning justice on the Supreme Court, abortion rights could be in jeopardy.
Republicans insist that these claims are inflated and that Kavanaugh is clearly a well-qualified, albeit a conservative-leaning judge.
Grassley expects that the Senate will vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation in mid-September.
By: Devin Luginbill | Guest Writers