Chaos marks start of Kavanaugh confirmation hearing

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Latest on the Senate hearings on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh: Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley has begun giving his opening statements at a hearing for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh after being delayed for over an hour by Democrats requesting a delay to review more documents.

Grassley denied that request Tuesday. In prepared remarks, Grassley says that Kavanaugh is “the kind of judge Americans want on the Supreme Court” and criticizes Democrats for trying “tactic after tactic to delay and obstruct” his confirmation.

Grassley says the confirmation process has been thorough and transparent and that lawmakers have received just under half a million pages of emails and other documents from Kavanaugh’s time working in the White House.

Democrats have criticized Republicans for blocking access to documents from Kavanaugh’s time as White House staff secretary to President George W. Bush.

The top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee is describing “frustration” over the confirmation process for Brett Kavanaugh.

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein says Democrats want to do a good job and are not trying to “create a disruption” by asking for more time to review Kavanaugh’s documents. She says they’re asking: “Majority, give us the time to do our work.”

Feinstein says the hearing Tuesday is taking place under unique circumstances. She says that the man who nominated Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump, faces serious legal problems. She mentions the indictments, guilty pleas and criminal convictions from the Russia investigation.

Republican Chairman Chuck Grassley shut down the Democrats’ request for a delay, vowing Kavanaugh’s hearings will be finished this week.

Shouting protesters opposed to Kavanaugh have repeatedly interrupted the hearing.

Democrats are calling for a delay in the confirmation hearings of Brett Kavanaugh, objecting to the late release of documents the evening before.

Sen. Kamala Harris of California began a round of Democratic objections as Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley tried to open the hearings Tuesday morning. Harris said that Democrats received approximately 40,000 documents that they have not had time to review. Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut also objected, as did Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii. Sen. Corey Booker of New Jersey says, “We are rushing through this process in a way that is unnecessary.”

Grassley responded: “You are taking advantage of my decency and integrity.”

Protesters are also interrupting the hearing. One shouted, “an illegitimate president cannot make a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.”

Confirmation hearings are underway in the Senate for Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s second nominee to the Supreme Court.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa gaveled in the first day of hearings on Tuesday morning. Kavanaugh, his wife, Ashley, and eldest daughter entered the committee room with Grassley just after 9:30 am.

In his opening statement, Kavanaugh vows to be a “pro-law judge” who will interpret the law impartially.

He will be introduced at the hearing by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio and liberal lawyer Lisa Blatt.

Questioning of Kavanaugh will not begin until Wednesday.

Kavanaugh has been a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia since 2006.

Senate Democrats are demanding that the Trump administration release thousands of documents on Brett Kavanaugh’s record in the White House.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the senior Democrat on the panel holding the Supreme Court confirmation hearings, said the White House was trying to “hide” Kavanaugh’s records from the Senate and the public. She said more than 90 percent of his records are being withheld from the Senate and the public.

The California Democrat said senators in her party would participate in the hearings under a “silent protest” against the White House’s conduct in the matter.

Republican Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said earlier on Fox News that more documents on Kavanaugh have been released than on any other nominee.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley wants Democrats to stop complaining about documents they’ve received pertaining to Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

Grassley is chairing the confirmation hearing later Tuesday for President Donald Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court. The Iowa Republican tells Fox News that there are more documents on Kavanaugh than any other nominee in history. But Democrats say thousands were dumped out in public just hours before the hearing begins, making it impossible for thorough scrutiny.

Monday night, the committee received 42,000 pages of documents about Kavanaugh’s years with the Bush administration, prompting complaints from Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer. Democrats have also complained that they have not received all relevant documents from Kavanaugh’s work with previous administrations.

President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee says a good judge must be like a neutral and impartial umpire.

Brett Kavanaugh says in remarks prepared for his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing that “I don’t decide cases based on personal or policy preferences.” He adds that he is “not a pro-plaintiff or pro-defendant judge.” Kavanaugh says he’s a “pro-law judge” dedicated to deciding cases according to the Constitution and U.S. laws.

He thanks Trump and his wife, Melania, for being gracious to the Kavanaugh family.

Kavanaugh has a solidly conservative record as an appeals court judge, including a dissenting opinion last year that would have denied immediate access to an abortion for an immigrant teenager in federal custody.

With Republicans hoping to move the Supreme Court to the right for years to come, a Senate committee is beginning hearings for President Donald Trump’s second nominee to the court.

Brett Kavanaugh has a solidly conservative record as an appeals court judge, including a dissenting opinion last year that would have denied immediate access to an abortion for an immigrant teenager in federal custody.

The first day of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings Tuesday will feature opening statements from senators and Kavanaugh himself. Questioning will begin on Wednesday, and votes in committee and on the Senate floor could occur later in September.

If all goes as Republicans plan, the 53-year-old Kavanaugh could be on the bench when the court begins its new term on Oct. 1.

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