The beginnings of Senate confirmation hearings for Judge Brett Kavanaugh erupted in chaos Tuesday morning as both Democratic senators and protesters within the chamber interrupted opening remarks from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA). Just seconds after he began speaking, chants and screams from the crowd were the background of the objections from Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) who said, “We cannot possibly move forward,” after receiving a load of 42,000 documents relating to the nominee’s work with past administrations the night before the start of the hearings.
Grassley responded saying she was “out of order,” but other Democrats joined in the criticism to back up Harris. In a report from Fox News, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) even moved to adjourn the session to have time to review the documents.
The move from the Connecticut senator was met with applause from the audience, both elected leaders and protesters alike.
Last night, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) took to Twitter railing against the document dump.
“The Senate was just given an additional 42,000 pages of Kavanaugh documents the NIGHT BEFORE his confirmation hearing. This underscores just how absurd this process is. Not a single senator will be able to review these records before tomorrow.”
Judge Kavanaugh, inarguably, has one of the longest records of any Supreme Court nominee in recent memory. He has served for more than a decade on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, penning over 300 opinions. As well, he worked as former President George W. Bush’s White House counsel, and before was integral in the impeachment proceedings into former President Bill Clinton while working with Ken Starr.
The confirmation hearings, if continued, will take place over four days, with the issues of abortion rights, the Second Amendment, executive powers, among others laying the groundwork for questions thrown at Kavanaugh. Reportedly, Democrats have viewed thousands of the recently released documents, but are pleading for more time so any and all issues with his previous rulings can be analyzed.
In reference to being asked about political biases on the Supreme Court, Kavanaugh said “a good judge must be an umpire.”