@BlueJersey is live-tweeting the #Kavanaugh hearing. @CoryBooker protests: ‘What are we hiding?’

We have been live-tweeting much of the #Kavanaugh confirmation hearing on Twitter @bluejersey much of the day. Chair Chuck Grassley just called a 30-min break to the hearing. Cory Booker is speaking out in protest – video below. 

Women dressed as Handmaids in reference to concern Kavanaugh would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, are part of hundreds of protesters at the hearing. Dozens have already interrupted the hearing, 31 arrested so far.

Just hours before the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Brett Kavanaugh for a seat on the Supreme Court, there was a document dump to the U.S. Senate of 42,000 pages – the night before the hearing and on a holiday. Clearly, intentionally, not enough time for senators charged to vote to responsibly read through anything. And the White House said Friday that it would not be releasing 100,000 Kavanaugh’s records from the Bush White House on the basis of presidential privilege. Trump’s White House had the privilege of reviewing the documents from Kavanaugh’s time in the early 2000’s as a lawyer in the Bush White House. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer called it “a Friday night document massacre,” with all the makings of a cover-up.

Republican senators have tried to counter the fact of the document-dump, and tens of thousands of missing, incomplete and redacted documents, by saying how many documents – and cases – senators do have. But the paper trail on this particular nominee is long; Kavanaugh has been a Washington power player*** for decades. And much of it is missing; the senators either don’t have it or haven’t had adequate time to read it, and can’t talk about it in a public hearing.

We know why Donald Trump chose this nominee: A Justice Kavanaugh could be Trump’s Get Out of Jail card, as the federal investigation circles ever closer to the president. It’s a 2009 article Kavanaugh wrote for the Minnesota Law Review, where he said that criminal claims against sitting presidents should be addressed after the president leaves office, arguing that it’s “vital that the President be able to focus on his never-ending tasks with as few distractions as possible.” A few minutes ago, Gov. Phil Murphy cited Trump’s self-interest as one reason he should not be confirmed. And Sen. Menendez, fighting for re-election in November, railed against Kavanaugh-friendly Orrin Hatch’s grossly folksy factoid of how the nominee likes his spaghetti, while steering conversation away from what we actually need to know about him.

But it’s Cory Booker who sits on Senate Judiciary; this is his first SCOTUS hearing there. And the strongest objections to the GOP attempt to rush this confirmation through without reviewing his history, came from Booker and Kamala Harris – 2020 hopefuls, both – and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, whose move to postpone the hearings, properly seconded, was ignored by Chair Chuck Grassley, who seemed to think that the real injustice of today’s hearing was senators speaking out of turn or interrupting, and an unruly audience organized to stand up and speak up (bless them) and not ramming through a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land for a nominee expressly chosen to keep a criminal president from prosecution, and perhaps even try to dismantle much of what Americans expect are their protections. Cory Booker:

*** As an attorney working for Ken Starr, Kavanaugh played a lead role in drafting the Starr Report, which urged the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. Kavanaugh led the investigation into the suicide of Clinton aide Vince Foster. After the 2000 U.S. presidential election (in which Kavanaugh worked for the George W. Bush campaign in the Florida recount), Kavanaugh joined Bush’s staff, where he led the administration’s effort to identify and confirm judicial nominees. 

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