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Booker, Menendez Condemn Supreme Court Nominee at New Brunswick Church

14 September 2018

It took less than two minutes for the first protester to be ejected from Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh's opening day of testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, asked by conservative host Hugh Hewitt in an MSNBC interview if he had any doubts about Kavanaugh's confirmation, replied: "None whatsoever".

Kavanaugh completed two days of lengthy questioning by senators on Thursday night, keeping his composure under intense questioning by Democrats and avoiding any stumbles that could have tripped up his confirmation. He worked to ensure Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland never saw even a hearing, then immediately began ramming through President Donald Trump's judicial picks, including several with extreme activist agendas.

The bedlam is unlikely to change any votes in the Senate.

Booker declared his intent to "knowingly violate" the rules, considering it an act of "civil disobedience", as the third day of confirmation hearings opened Thursday. Lisa Keen argues at Keen News Service that Kavanaugh's testimony "did nothing to quell concerns in the LGBT community that Kavanaugh is an ultra-conservative, maybe even anti-LGBT, jurist who will nearly certainly give the Supreme Court's existing four conservative justices the fifth vote they need to vote against the equal rights interests of LGBT people".

"When Justice Kennedy announced his retirement, I urged the president to appoint a consensus nominee who could earn broad bipartisan support in the Senate and the confidence of the American people", Bennet said July 9.

Democrats have portrayed Kavanaugh as a justice who might vote to roll back or overturn the Roe v. Wade decision establishing a constitutional right to abortion.

During his gruelling testimony, Kavanaugh maintained a genial demeanor, blunting some of the most aggressive questioning from Democrats seeking to unsettle him.

Hopefully, by the time the Trump presidency ends the Supreme Court will be is stacked with seven originalists who will put the Supreme Court out of reach of the left for a generation, significantly diminishing the administrative state. As far as federal judicial hierarchy is concerned, matters are first litigated at the district court level before they can be appealed to a higher court. If Kavanaugh is confirmed by lawmakers, he'll win a lifetime seat on the nation's highest court. He again declined to say whether the landmark 1973 ruling that legalized abortion nationwide, Roe v. Wade, was correctly decided, though he indicated - as he also had on Wednesday - that it is a decision that merits respect as "an important precedent of the Supreme Court" that has been "reaffirmed many times".

Democrats painted Kavanaugh as a threat to abortion rights. Explaining his opinion in a case involving religiously affiliated groups that object to paying for contraception under the Affordable Care Act, Kavanaugh referred to "abortion-inducing drugs", a term often used by abortion opponents to describe some contraceptives.

In refusing to engage on Trump, Kavanaugh declined even to condemn the president's persistent criticism of the federal judiciary.

The president's first appointee to the high court, Neil Gorsuch, a year ago told senators Trump's remarks on the judiciary were "disheartening" and "demoralising". The nomination is expected to be reported out of committee along party lines.

Booker, Menendez Condemn Supreme Court Nominee at New Brunswick Church