Kavanaugh was already coming into this hearing with a hard task: convince Congress that he isn't a lackey Supreme Court pick for a president who has repeatedly flouted the rule of law. We'll have more on the first day of Judge Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings after headlines.
"Similarly", reasoned Grassley, "we know what kind of judge Kavanaugh will be, because we know what kind of judge he has been for the last twelve years on the most influential circuit court".
Most of us know that in 1973, the Supreme Court held in Roe v. Wade that states can not ban abortion before a certain point in pregnancy because doing so would violate a woman's constitutional right to liberty and privacy. He condemned the spate of USA school shootings but defended an opinion he wrote questioning whether semi-automatic rifles could be banned.
The Senate Judicial Committee hearing has strong political overtones ahead of the November congressional elections, but as a practical matter Democrats lack the votes to block Kavanaugh's confirmation.
With impeachment on the minds of many Democrats, some have expressed concerns that Judge Kavanaugh would abuse his position on the Supreme Court to protect the president. They fear Kavanaugh will push the court to the right on abortion, guns and other issues, and that he will side with Trump in cases stemming from Robert Mueller's investigation of Trump's 2016 campaign.
The 53-year-old Kavanaugh, no stranger to Washington politics, sat stone-faced throughout.
Burck, a private attorney, is a Kavanaugh associate who works with the George W. Bush presidential library and is helping oversee the decisions about which documents from Kavanaugh's time as Bush's associate counsel should be given to Congress or made public. "And he has criticized those who substitute their own judgments about what a statute should say for what the statute actually says".
Sen. Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican who's the Judiciary Committee's chairman, pushed back on those calls, and outgoing Sen.
The first day of Brett Kavanaugh's Senate Supreme Court hearing saw a huge number of protestors, both inside and out of the hearing room.
Leahy pressed on by asking if Trump has the authority to pardon people "in exchange for a promise from that person that they wouldn't testify against him".
The president's comment followed the statements of Democratic senators who warned that Trump was, in the words of Sen.
"[Tuesday], for me, was proof that insane never takes a vacation up here", Kennedy said.
But in 2009, Kavanaugh wrote a law review article saying presidents should be free from the distractions of civil lawsuits, criminal prosecutions and investigations while in office. "There's no reason Brett Kavanaugh couldn't have given a straight answer", she tweeted.
One of the most revealing moments about Kavanaugh's character that has gotten a lot of attention didn't happen while the hearing was in session.
Kavanaugh noted that Roe was reaffirmed in a 1992 decision, Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
While stopping short of calling the Roe case correctly decided, Kavanaugh's remarks suggested he might be cautious toward overturning it. United States was, this pick will likely determine the legal liability of President Trump.
Capitol Police on Tuesday removed 61 protesters opposed to Kavanaugh from the room - often forcibly dragging them as they defiantly screamed about reproductive rights and other issues - and charged them with disorderly conduct.
"If solicitor general documents were too sensitive to request, then by the same logic, White House staff secretary documents are even more sensitive", Grassley reasoned, "because they contain candid advice sent directly to the president". The White House has said Kavanaugh "led the effort to rein in unaccountable independent agencies" and his rulings against environmental and consumer protection regulations.