Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation hearings begin

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President Trump's nomination to the Supreme Court endured a rough start to his Senate hearings today when Democrats continually interrupted to push for an adjournment, in protest at thousands of papers being withheld by the White House. Watch the hearing live.

Kavanaugh, a champion of gun rights, has been backed by the National Rifle Association, which announced in August that it was spending at least $1m on a national advertising campaign to support the judge's confirmation to the supreme court.

"I had high hopes for Brett Kavanaugh".

"To me, Justice Kennedy is a mentor, a friend, and a hero".

"I guess he did not want to deal with the reality of gun violence", Guttenberg said on Twitter after the encounter. That seat instead was filled by Neil Gorsuch, who was nominated by President Trump.

Grassley is planning to talk broadly about the role of a judge and Kavanaugh's qualifications during his opening remarks, a source familiar with the remarks told CNN.

Grassley ignored the Democrats' request to halt the hearing, saying the demand was "out of order" and accused them of obstruction.

Democrats, in a futile effort to delay the hearing, were responding to growing frustrations from their base that the party has not been vocal enough in protesting the successor to Anthony Kennedy. "I really regret this but I think you have to understand the frustration" among Democrats", she said.

Feinstein was not reassured by Sen.

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A special election is expected to be held in 2020 to serve out the remainder of McCain's term, which ends in 2022. He's been a lawyer in Washington since his retirement, and in recent months has been shepherding Judge Brett M.

Kavanaugh said he has been a "pro-law judge" who does not seek a pre-ordained outcome, and who would bring his impartiality to the nation's high court.

Kavanaugh sat patiently for almost seven hours, listening to Republican and Democrats speak for and against his joining the court before he finally got his chance to address the panel.

"You had a chance and you lost", Graham said to Democrats. Protesters also disrupted the proceedings.

The backdrop for the Senate hearing is that everyone knows the Republicans have the votes to put Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, since the filibuster has been abolished.

There is a long history of heated fights over U.S. Supreme Court nominations, with anger in both parties.

Ahead of Tuesday's hearing, the first of a week of confirmation hearings for the nominee, committee Democrats criticized the Trump administration for holding back documents related to Kavanaugh's service in the George W. Bush White House.

Veteran Democrat Dick Durbin said Kavanaugh "totally reversed" after working in the White House when Bush was considering warrantless wiretapping and torture of enemy combatants, and warned that a similar position would only serve to insulate Trump.

"Before sitting on the bench, you were a political operative, involved in the most political and partisan controversies of our time", added Sen. Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy asked. So Republicans have released only those documents they consider most relevant - about 440,000 pages for senators to see, and fewer than 300,000 publicly.