Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s pick to fill an empty seat on the Supreme Court, began his confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday morning.
Before the first hour was up, more than a dozen people were arrested for protesting, and senators on the Judiciary Committee were forced to yell over the din to decide whether to proceed.
Opening statements were already off to a contentious start: Just hours before the hearings began a lawyer for President George W. Bush turned over more than 42,000 pages of previously secret documents from Kavanaugh’s time in the Bush White House. Democrats pleaded for more time to review those documents and sought to adjourn or postpone the hearings.
Senators will also push Kavanaugh for his views on consequential legal decisions such as Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion rights. Kavanaugh’s storied history of opinions on presidential immunity is also bound to come up, especially considering the legal woes of many members of Trump’s inner circle.
Trump announced Kavanaugh’s nomination in early July. If approved, Kavanaugh would replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy and turn the court over to a decidedly conservative majority and usher in a new era of American law.
Here’s VICE News’ prior coverage of Kavanaugh and the Supreme Court:
- Michael Cohen is the Democrats’ last-ditch attempt to stop Kavanaugh
- The “NASTY Women” act just passed in Massachusetts to prepare for the death of Roe v. Wade
- Brett Kavanaugh is the least popular SCOTUS pick in decades
- Trump’s Supreme Court pick has a history of tossing out Obama’s environmental regulations
- Will Trump’s Supreme Court pick overturn Roe v. Wade?
- 5 ways Brett Kavanaugh could swing the Supreme Court to the right
Cover image: Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh arrives at the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018, in Washington, to begin his confirmation hearing to replace retired Justice Anthony Kennedy. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)