It took nearly seven hours, but Brett Kavanuagh finally got to speak at his confirmation hearing yesterday to be the next justice of the Supreme Court.
Those intervening seven hours were a mash-up of theatrics and partisan bickering as Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee attempted to postpone or delay the proceedings and more than 70 protestors were arrested trying to disrupt the hearing.
Today’s session is expected to last as long as 12 hours as Kavanaugh finally will face questions from Senators about his rulings and views on the law, including the limits of presidential power. Judge Kavanaugh, who was most recently a member of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, is most well-known for his opinions on the constitutionality of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.
Despite all the caterwauling, Kavanaugh is expected to be confirmed by both the Senate Judiciary Committee and the full Senate and could be in place when the Supreme Court is gaveled into session in October.
During his opening remarks, Kavanaugh said he is not a pro-plaintiff or pro-defendant judge, nor is he a pro-prosecution or pro-defense judge. “I am a pro-law judge,” he said.
Democrats are attempting to use Kavanaugh’s Republican leanings as reason why he should not be confirmed to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, long considered to be the Supreme Court’s swing vote. Kavanaugh’s confirmation could tilt the balance of the Court to the right for decades to come.
Democrats were upset at the last-minute release of tens of thousands of pages of documents related to Kavanaugh’s past rulings and time as a staff secretary for former President George W. Bush.
The hearing resembled a similar scene from the Senate Banking Committee, who held a confirmation hearing for Kathy Kraninger, nominated to be the next director of the BCFP. That hearing was less of a spectacle than Kavanaugh’s hearing yesterday, but was still more about soundbites than anything else.