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Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearing LIVE - Trump’s Supreme Court nominee refuses to say whether a president can self-pardon or be subpoenaed

Democrats will press Donald Trump's nominee on abortion, gun rights and his views on Russia investigation

Andrew Buncombe
Washington DC
,Clark Mindock
Wednesday 05 September 2018 21:50 BST
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh delivers opening statement

Donald Trump’s latest Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, will face a marathon of hostile questioning by Democrats as his confirmation hearing begins its second day.

Democrats plan to press Mr Kavanaugh on abortion, gun rights and his ability to be independent of the US president, among other issues.

The first day of the debate was marked by heated exchanges as Democrats voiced their fears Mr Kavanaugh could act as Mr Trump’s advocate in the high court. Mr Trump jumped into the fray late in the day, saying on Twitter that Democrats were “looking to inflict pain and embarrassment” on Mr Kavanaugh.

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A long day of questioning awaits the 53-year-old appellate judge, whom Mr Trump nominated in July to fill the seat of retired Justice Anthony Kennedy.


Hello and welcome to live updates from second day of Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmation hearing.

Donald Trump's nominee can expect to spar with Democrats over abortion, gun rights, executive power and other high-profile issues.

Samuel Osborne5 September 2018 14:03

Good morning from Capitol Hill, where the city's infamous swam-like weather has returned again. Utterly foul humidity outside and freezing A/C in the senate buildings where Mr Kavanaugh will be questioned today.

Andrew Buncombe5 September 2018 14:26

So what should we be looking out for when things get underway in ten minutes or so? As the New York Times points out, Senators Charles Grassley and Dianne Feinstein, as the top members of the committee, will be the first to ask questions, followed by the rest of the panel.

Andrew Buncombe5 September 2018 14:27

And if you think some of yesterday's interventions from the senators was ponderous, get this: each senator has 30 minutes to question Judge Kavanaugh.

Andrew Buncombe5 September 2018 14:27

Democrats will want to press the judge on his views, which Ms Feinstein yesterday described as "anti-choice and pro-gun". Mr Grassley, the chairman, has already advised the judge to invoke the so-called Ginsburg Rule and follow the example of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who refused to answer questions that would hint or foreshadow future decisions, when she was nominated by Bill Clinton in 1993.

Andrew Buncombe5 September 2018 14:31

So the senators and Mr Kavanaugh have taken their seats, as has a young political operative, Zina Bash, who for a couple of hours was the talk of Twitter. She was accused of everything from smirking to making white power signs. 

Her husband John Bash came to her defence, saying her hands were just resting on her knee. “She was born in Mexico. Her grandparents were Holocaust survivors. We of course have nothing to do with hate groups, which aim to terrorise and demean other people"

Andrew Buncombe5 September 2018 14:39

Ok. There has already been some shouting and yelling and the sounds of one protestor being escorted out.

Andrew Buncombe5 September 2018 14:40

Mr Grassley, the chairman, is going to be the first to start the questions.

Andrew Buncombe5 September 2018 14:40

His first 'question' is to say that no Republican could nominate a better person to the court than Mr Kavanaugh.

Andrew Buncombe5 September 2018 14:43

What makes good judge, asks Mr Grassley. "Independence," says Kavanugh. "You need some backbone."

Andrew Buncombe5 September 2018 14:44

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