Parkland father rejects White House excuses after Kavanaugh fails to shake hands

Brett Kavanaugh

Modal Trigger Brett Kavanaugh Getty Images

Right as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Chuck Grassley (R-IA) moves to begin, Democrats interjected and made motions to adjourn the hearing, pointing to the thousands of documents that have yet to be reviewed.

Republicans also a year ago reduced the margin for advancing Supreme Court nominations from 60 votes in the 100-seat Senate to a simple majority in order to force through the confirmation of Trump's first high court nominee Neil Gorsuch.

Trump jumped into the fray late in the day, saying on Twitter that Democrats were "looking to inflict pain and embarrassment" on Kavanaugh.

They contrasted the haste with which Kavanaugh is being confirmed to the Republicans' refusal to hold hearings for Merrick Garland, Barack Obama's nominee for a vacant Supreme Court spot, in 2016. They were removed one by one by security personnel.

Democrats repeatedly broke into Grassley's opening remarks to demand a halt in order to be allowed time to study the 42,000 pages released by the White House just 15 hours before the start of the hearing.

Tuesday's hearing was less than a minute old before Democrats raised objections to the proceedings, in a coordinated attack.


Each time another stood to yell - and the Capitol Police closed in to remove the person from the room - the photographers would begin taking pictures from close range.

"We can not possibly move forward", Harris, a potential 2020 Democratic presidential contender, said.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, put the issue directly to Kavanaugh: "For the sake of this nation, for the sanctity of the Constitution that we both honor, step up, ask this meeting, this gathering to suspend until all the documents of your public career are there for the American people to see". Before chairman Chuck Grassley could even dive into his welcoming statement to Kavanaugh and his family, nearly every Democrat on the panel began offering a series of objections to the hearing, demanding its adjournment in order to have more time to review the new material. "What the White House said was not true".

Grassley noted that despite his staff being available around the clock to help Democrats access records, not a single Democratic senator showed up.

Kavanaugh, now a circuit judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, will also praise his colleague Judge Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama's unsuccessful Supreme Court nominee.

Maybe Democrats can't match Mitch McConnell's brazen obstructionism, but now they're thinking about it - or at least, they want their base to believe they're thinking about it.


Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, dismissed the complaints over missing documents as a distraction.

The 53-year-old judge, who serves on the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, sat impassively for almost seven hours of senators' statements before speaking for less than 20 minutes.

White House spokesman Raj Shah said security intervened before Mr Kavanaugh could shake the hand of the "unidentified individual". Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer complained it was impossible to go through them in time.

Democrats argued that not being able to see the pages makes it impossible for them to do their jobs and properly question Kavanaugh.

But Republicans say the other party is trying to delay the process for political reasons.

Kavanaugh sat, fingers intertwined, quietly staring ahead at the committee members as protesters in the audience screamed while being dragged out of the room.


Irked by a protester who interrupted him, Sen.

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