Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will declare himself a neutral ‘umpire’ and insist he’s more bound to the law than to a political persuasion on Tuesday as a contentious week of Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings get underway.
In excerpts from his opening remarks, released by the White House, Kavanaugh promises that he would never ‘decide cases based on personal or policy preferences.’
‘A good judge must be an umpire — a neutral and impartial arbiter who favors no litigant or policy,’ he says.
Democrats have been engaged in a full-court press to derail his nomination, framing it as a referendum on President
On Monday night the committee received 42,000 pages of documents about Kavanaugh’s years with the Bush administration. That prompted complaints from Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, saying that [n]ot a single senator will be able to review these records before tomorrow.’
Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley wants Democrats to stop complaining about documents and get to work.
The Iowa Republican said Monday that the Kavanaugh nomination has produced more documents on Kavanaugh than on any other nominee in history.
Kavanaugh notes in his opener that he serves on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, ‘a court now led by our superb chief judge, Merrick Garland.’
Garland was former President Barack Obama’s nominee for the seat Kavanaugh is now vying for. Republicans blocked Senate hearings for 10 months following the February 2016 death of Justice Antonin Scalia.
They claimed at the time that the presidential election, which Trump ultimately won over Democrat Hillary Clinton, should be a referendum on which party ought to pick the next Supreme Court justice whose job would come with a lifetime appointment
Democrats haven’t forgotten the unusual maneuver, and liberal groups have complained that the GOP ‘stole’ the nomination from a Democratic president.
Kavanaugh pledged in his opening statement to be a ‘team player’ and decide cases ‘according to the Constitution and laws of the United States.’
If all goes as Republicans plan, the 53-year-old Kavanaugh could be on the bench when the court begins its new term on Oct. 1.
Tuesday’s opening committee session will be consumed entirely by opening statements — every senator on the panel will have time to stemwind and posture before a global TV audience — and the more aggressive question-and-answer session will get underway on Wednesday.