'Mob rule' rocks US Senate hearing for judge

'Mob rule' rocks US Senate hearing for judge

'Mob rule' rocks US Senate hearing for judge

Brett Kavanaugh, Donald Trump's conservative nominee for the USA supreme court, faced sharp questions on Capitol Hill on some of the hottest issues raging in American society - abortion, gun rights and presidential power - during the second day of his dramatic confirmation hearing.

The interruptions, combined with shouting and screaming from hecklers in the audience, created a level of chaos that served to underscore the historical significance of Kavanaugh's appointment and the effect his presence on the court may have in the years to come.

And Collins suggested she wasn't concerned when asked Tuesday evening about Democratic complaints over the Trump administration's decision to withhold more than 100,000 pages of documents from the Senate Judiciary Committee over claims of privilege.

The senators also said Kavanaugh was not on either of the two lists of potential Supreme Court nominees - many handpicked by the conservative Federalist Society - that Trump put out before taking office.

He gave a similar answer to Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy who asked whether a president could issue a pardon to himself or to someone else in exchange for promising not to testify against the president.

"If confirmed to the Supreme Court and as a sitting judge, I owe my loyalty to the Constitution", he said holding up a tattered pocket-size copy of the document. "It's not theory. It's not just what a law review article says. So sad to see!"

In his first day of answering questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee at his confirmation hearings, Kavanaugh said that independence without prejudging cases is the "first quality of a good judge".

Shrieking protesters also disrupted the hearing.

Trump himself loomed large over the hearings, with senators raising questions about Kavanaugh's views of executive power. Security personnel removed dozens of demonstrators from the room.

"I owe my loyalty to the Constitution", Kavanaugh responded, holding up his tattered copy of the document. "We have not had an opportunity to have a meaningful hearing", said Sen.

Republicans counter that they have already received more than 400,000 pages of Kavanaugh-related documents.

Connecticut Democrat Sen. Richard Blumenthal made a motion to adjourn.

The president's comment followed the statements of Democratic senators who warned that Trump was, in the words of Sen.

Grassley noted that despite his staff being available around the clock to help Democrats access records, not a single Democratic senator showed up.

"I understand how passionate and how deeply people feel about this issue", he added. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

But demonstrations continued inside the US Senate building where Kavanaugh was being quizzed on Wednesday, with occasional outbursts from protesters, such as: "Sham president, sham justice!" and "No Trump puppet!" They characterized the hearing as a "charade and mockery of our norms". But they are hardly the only swing votes who may provide critical support to ensure Kavanaugh's confirmation to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy. Senate Democrats have vowed a fierce fight. "If we can't even have a nominee who can publicly say there is no right for 7.2 billion people to break into the world and demand an abortion - putting Roe aside - i dont [sic] know the objective of us engaging in this business", he said.

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh responds to questions during his confirmation hearing on Wednesday.

The back two rows of the hearing room are reserved for the public.

According to Fox News, the hearing was interrupted 63 times before the group recessed for lunch and interruptions prolonged the commencement of the hearing by an hour and 15 minutes.

Pressed by Feinstein on his comment several years ago that USA v. Nixon might have been wrongly decided, he said his quote - shown on a poster above the senator - was "not in context" and "I have repeatedly called US v. Nixon one of the four greatest moments in court history".

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