Judge Brett Kavanaugh on Tuesday vowed to be a “a neutral and impartial arbiter” if confirmed to the Supreme Court, after a chaotic first day of hearings on Capitol Hill amid political theatrics and protests from Democrats.
“If confirmed to the Supreme Court, I will keep an open mind in every case,” Kavanaugh said. “I will do equal right to the poor and to the rich. I will always strive to preserve the Constitution of the United States and the American rule of law.”
Before he spoke, Kavanaugh was introduced by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman and attorney Lisa Blatt – a liberal Democrat who said she voted for Hillary Clinton for president but supports Kavanaugh’s nomination.
Democrats, in their opening remarks Tuesday, sounded the alarm about Kavanaugh’s past work in Republican politics, including as a lawyer in George W. Bush’s White House.
But Kavanaugh said Tuesday, “I don’t decide cases based on personal or policy preferences.”
Earlier Tuesday, protests from Democratic lawmakers and demonstrators delayed the formal start of proceedings by more than an hour. Within moments of Tuesday's confirmation hearing kickoff, top Democrats tried to sideline the session with a rapid-fire string of objections concerning access to the nominee's records.
The spectacle underscored the political nature of the confirmation hearings, coming two months before the midterms and as some senators gear up for a possible 2020 presidential run against President Trump. Several of those senators led the charge Tuesday in objecting to Kavanaugh.
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