On the first day of the much-anticipated confirmation hearings for Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Senate Democrats came out swinging. Senators Blumenthal of Connecticut, Booker of New Jersey, and Harris of California spent the first hour asking for a vote to adjourn. This slowed the proceedings to a halt because Republican Chairman Grassley of Iowa could not allow a vote because Republicans were missing from the chamber.
Why were Senate Democrats asking for a delay? Their chief complaint was the refusal of the Trump Administration and other Republicans to unseal documents from Kavanaugh’s White House tenure. During the weekend before the hearings, it was reported that the Trump Administration was withholding 100,000 pages of Kavanaugh records.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (NY) responded, “President Trump’s decision to step in at the last moment and hide 100k pages of Judge Kavanaugh’s records from the American public is not only unprecedented in the history of SCOTUS noms, it has all the makings of a cover up… What are they trying so desperately to hide?”
The night before the hearing, 42,000 documents were dumped on Senator Democrats, meaning Senate Democrats would have to read 7,000 pages an hour if they were to review all the documents before the start of the hearings Tuesday morning.
Even with this last-minute document dump, the Senate has only received 10% of Kavanaugh’s record and the public has only had access to 7%. “We wouldn’t hire an intern without 90% of their resume,” explained Senator Booker.
Did you see Judge Kavanaugh refuse to shake hands with Fred Guttenberg, the father of Jamie Guttenberg who was killed in the Parkland, Florida shooting? We may only have a small fraction of Kavanaugh’s record, but he showed us his true colors today.
“Just walked up to Judge Kavanaugh as morning session ended,” Guttenberg wrote on Twitter. “Put out my hand to introduce myself as Jaime Guttenberg’s dad. He pulled his hand back, turned his back to me and walked away. I guess he did not want to deal with the reality of gun violence.”
— Catie Edmondson (@CatieEdmondson) September 4, 2018
Senator Feinstein of California used much of her opening statement to highlight Kavanaugh’s extremist views on the Second Amendment. “If the Supreme Court were to adopt your reasoning,” she said, “I feel the number of victims would continue to grow. Even [former Supreme Court Justice Antonin] Scalia understood that weapons that are most useful in military service can, in fact, be regulated.”
Fellow California Senator Harris also discussed his troubling views on assault weapons. “We have witnessed horrific mass shootings from Parkland to Las Vegas to Jacksonville, Florida. Yet Judge Kavanaugh has gone further than the Supreme Court and has written that because assault weapons are in ‘common use,’ assault weapons and high-capacity magazines cannot be banned under the Second Amendment.” For more on Kavanaugh’s troubling opposition to common sense gun laws, read our report here.
Finally, US Capitol Police reported that 70 people were arrested, including Women’s March founder Linda Sarsour and actress Piper Perabo. Republican Senator of Nebraska Ben Sasse referred to the disruptions as “hysteria,” and said women had been holding “screaming protests saying women are going to die” for 30 years.