How Trump factored into Day 1 of Brett Kavanaugh's hearing

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Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, said in an unsparing opening statement that criticized Kavanaugh's judicial opinions and the Senate process that Democrats said had deprived them of access to records of important chunks of Kavanaugh's time as an aide to President George W. Bush.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., scoffed at Democrats who complained that Kavanaugh is too partisan.

In a moment captured by TV cameras, Fred Guttenberg approached Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh at the start of the lunch break during his confirmation hearing in Washington DC.

"Sending out fundraising emails DURING A HEARING about opposition to a Supreme Court nominee is not the job of a Senator".

Kavanaugh is Trump's nominee to join the Supreme Court. Cruz pointed out that it was "the first presidential election in 60 years where Americans went to the polls with a vacant seat on the Supreme Court".

Younger Democrats, such as California Sen.

'I guess he did not want to deal with the reality of gun violence'.

Liberals are concerned Kavanaugh could provide a decisive fifth vote on the nine-justice court to overturn or weaken the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion nationwide.

Grassley has called Kavanaugh "one of the most qualified nominees ever picked for the court". But as Graham said yesterday, you can't lose elections and pick judges. "And Durbin didn't dispute that ... he didn't dispute at all that this is a show; we are seeing a political circus", Cruz said.

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"Not only is the country deeply divided politically, we also find ourselves with a president who faces his own serious problems", she said referring to investigations surrounding Trump.

Kavanaugh's hearing quickly ran off the rails, as Democratic lawmakers demanded more time to review 42,000 documents on the nominee that the Senate Judiciary Committee received late on Monday. The Kavanaugh hearings are expected to last three to four days; it remains to be seen whether the handmaids will stay the course for the duration.

"I believe it is vital that the President be able to focus on his never-ending tasks with as few distractions as possible", Kavanaugh wrote.

It was no less than Senator Grassley and Senator Cornyn who, during the Kagan nomination, said, no, we need to see the documents before the hearing.

However, since then Kavanaugh has said US lawmakers might pass a law protecting presidents from investigations while they were in office.

"And it's that president who has decided you are his man".

"I find it hard to imagine that your views on this subject escaped the attention of President Trump, who seems increasingly fixated on his own ballooning legal jeopardy", Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy said. In 2013, Democrats set the precedent for the Republicans' move by lowering the confirmation vote margin to 50 votes for most other executive nominees.

Kavanaugh, a champion of gun rights, has been backed by the National Rifle Association, which announced in August that it was spending at least $1m on a national advertising campaign to support the judge's confirmation to the supreme court.

The Senate is likely to vote on confirmation by the end of September.

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