Kavanaugh pledges to be 'team player' on Supreme Court

But with Wednesday offering the first opportunity for lawmakers to question Kavanaugh, it is unclear what disruptions, if any, will emerge.

"The Supreme Court must never, never be viewed as a partisan institution", he said.

Kavanaugh said that he had not been been aware of the program until it was reported by the New York Times and said that he could not recall if he had ever raised questions about the constitutionality of such a program.

"I don't decide cases based on personal or policy preferences", he told the Senate panel.

He said that during his 12 years as a federal appeals judge in Washington, he decided more than 300 cases.

On the issue of gun rights, Senator Feinstein pressed Mr Kavanaugh on his previous opposition to a ban on semi-automatic rifles. "It was a gut punch for me", he said, and he was "shocked, disappointed, angry".

Guttenberg wrote on Twitter the snub came as Senate Judiciary Chair Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) called for a half hour recess.

Pressed by Democratic Senator Dick Durbin, Kavanaugh defended a ruling he took part in that issued an order preventing a 17-year-old illegal immigrant, detained by USA authorities in Texas, from immediately having an abortion.

On Wednesday, Kavanaugh's said the message of the decision, which he called one of the greatest moments in USA judicial history, was clear.

Democrats have indicated that they intend to pressure Kavanaugh into explaining his stance on a number of issues, including whether he would uphold Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark case that legalized abortion.

Before the hearing even officially began, Democrats tried to put a stop to it, complaining that they had not received thousands of documents related to Kavanaugh's background, and that thousands of pages that they did receive were not turned over to them until the night before.

Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Republican, accused Democrats of participating in "mob rule", as Durbin proclaimed that the demonstrations were "the noise of democracy".

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Hatch asked Kavanaugh about the Chevron doctrine, which takes its name from a 1980s Supreme Court decision that instructs federal courts to defer to a government agency's interpretation of ambiguous law. Kavanaugh has been attacked by liberals for his record on abortion and healthcare issues.

Republican senators Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Jeff Flake of Arizona spoke positively about Kavanaugh but questioned the Trump administrations integrity.

The Daily Mail says that Piper Perabo was arrested for civil disobedience and escorted out of the hearing room by police who grabbed her by the arm.

Kavanaugh clerked for Kozinski, and Kozinski introduced him during his 2006 confirmation hearing to be a judge.

The Democrats weren't the only ones who recognized the importance of questions about Trump and the Russian Federation investigation.

Under George W Bush, he served as deputy White House counsel and, from 2003-06, as Mr Bush's staff secretary. The Connecticut Democrat said it looked as if Kavanaugh landed on the list because of his view blasting what Kavanaugh described as "abortion on demand". But with Trump's fellow Republicans holding a slim majority in the Senate, and with no sign of any of them voting against the nomination, it remains likely Kavanaugh will be confirmed to the lifetime job on top USA judicial body.

But Booker says he can't share the email with the nominee because it is among those that have been labelled "committee confidential" - available to senators, but not the public.

Vermont's senior senator accused the judge of being aware of emails stolen from Leahy and other Democrats from 2001 to 2003 and having knowledge of the warrantless surveillance of United States citizens that went into effect in the aftermath of September 11, 2001.

The most likely outcome of this week's hearings is a vote along party lines to send Kavanaugh's nomination to the full Senate.

Judge Kavanaugh's hearing will resume Wednesday.

"If confirmed to the Supreme Court and as a sitting judge, I owe my loyalty to the Constitution". They now have a 51-49 majority in the Senate, after Jon Kyl was sworn in Wednesday to fill the seat held by the late Sen.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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