Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Highlights and ("Low" Lights) from Day 1 of Kavanaugh Hearing

Today was the first day of the confirmation hearings for the nomination to the Supreme Court of current D.C. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh.  The hearing started inauspiciously, as both Democratic senators and protesters in the room interrupted Chairman Chuck Grassley as he convened the hearing. To their credit, Senators Leahy and Feinstein did not join in the breach of order but rather looked uncomfortable at their colleagues' indecorous behavior.

Chairman Grassley was very patient with the repeated interruptions and responded to them, before finally beginning his actual opening statement over an hour after the hearing started:

After the Chairman and Ranking Member finally gave their opening statements, the other committee members gave their "10-minute" statements.  Chairman Grassley graciously allowed senators to go significantly over their allotted time, and the Democratic members of the committee greatly abused this courtesy with lengthy speeches.

Sen. Sasse gave an excellent civics and history lesson about how the distortion of the separation of powers under the Constitution has led us to the point where Supreme Court nominations are so contentious:

After joking that he had a 12-minute preamble followed by an 18-minute opening statement (as Sen. Booker did immediately preceding him), Sen. Tillis pointed out that the Democratic senators could use the hearing as a valuable opportunity to engage in a legitimate debate:

Both Senators Booker and Harris were clearly on the presidential campaign trail, giving stump speeches meant to appeal to the liberal Democratic base, with Sen. Harris going so far as to claim that Judge Kavanaugh's entire career has been driven by partisanship:

Sen. Graham concluded with a strong statement calling out the Democrats for their hypocrisy:

Then the hearing moved to introducing Judge Kavanaugh and his opening statement:

The hearing will resume tomorrow at 9:30 and can be watched live here.  It is scheduled to last through Friday.  The RNLA will live tweet the hearing each day.  

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