Protests, rallies launched as Judge Kavanaugh confirmation hearings continue

Law professor weighs in on Kavanaugh confirmation hearings
Updated: Sep. 6, 2018 at 7:43 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - It is day three of Judge Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings, and part of it has been filled with protests in Washington D.C.

During the hearings, U.S. Senators ask Kavanaugh questions. The last few days, people interrupted the hearings shouting "Our body is our choice" and "don't end abortion."

There was even a rally in Montgomery Thursday morning, where pro-life activists urged U.S. Senator Doug Jones to vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh.

"Judge Kavanaugh has stellar credentials and a strong record on protecting life and liberty," Republican Rep. Mike Holmes.

Senator Doug Jones has not said how he will vote yet, but said he is closely watching the hearings this week. His office said he plans to set up a meeting between him and the nominee.

Senator Doug Jones' Statement:

"As I've said before, it's regrettable that Supreme Court nominations have become the subject of such partisan bickering, which was on full display at the hearing today. I am very concerned that a significant amount of Judge Kavanaugh's record has been withheld from the U.S. Senate and the American public. This hearing should have been delayed in order to gather and review all of the facts—rather than hide them—and approach this process with the thoroughness and transparency that it demands. This is a lifetime appointment to the highest court in our land; it is not a decision that should be rushed. The process as it is playing out right now is not fair to the nominee, the Court, the Senate, or the American people."

Senator Richard Shelby said in a news release July 30, 2018 that he supports President Trump's U.S. Supreme Court nominee.

Senator Richard Shelby's Statement:

"After speaking with Judge Brett Kavanaugh, I am confident that he is principled, intelligent, and a steadfast supporter of the rule of law. He is highly-qualified for this role and exhibits strong, conservative values and an unwavering commitment to our Constitution.  I have no doubt that Judge Kavanaugh will uphold the principles on which our nation was founded. Confirming Judge Kavanaugh is one of the most important things we will do during this Congress.  I look forward to supporting his nomination to serve on our nation's highest court, and I urge my colleagues to do the same."

Allen Mendenhall, the Associate Dean at Thomas Goode Jones School of Law, said Senators already know who they are going to vote for.

"A lot of what we're seeing now is just political theater because Kavanaugh has either got the votes or he doesn't," Mendenhall said.

He said Republicans are generally looking for a Justice who is an originalist or textualist. An originalist means the judge or justice uses the original meaning of the Constitution to dictate law. A textualist is someone who adheres strictly to the text, and does not usually use outside sources.

Democrats, he said, are usually going to look for someone who is more of a judicial activist. A judicial activist is someone who may base rulings off of their personal considerations.

Mendenhall said senators are going to review everything possible about Judge Kavanaugh.

"The Democrats are going to try and find any kind of smoking gun they can. Anything they can to cast and portray Kavanaugh as somebody that is going to overturn Roe v. Wade," he said. "And it's unlikely that anything that he says during the confirmation hearings is going to change the way the senators are going to vote."

Other congressmen and congresswoman have weighed in on the issue:

Statement from Rep. Terri Sewell:

"I strongly urge the Senate to oppose Judge Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court. Judge Kavanaugh's record shows that his extreme views are outside the mainstream of the American people and will drive the Supreme Court farther to the right.  His appointment to the Supreme Court would further threaten  our access to health care, our right to vote, affirmative action, and all the important progress that we have made as a nation. Alabama families deserve an independent, fair-minded justice who defends the Constitution, not a rubber stamp for President Trump. For our nation's highest court, we must demand better."

Statement from Rep. Martha Roby:

"I believe Judge Brett Kavanaugh is an excellent choice for the Supreme Court. He is a qualified, conservative jurist who will serve the American people and the Supreme Court with dignity. I am glad that the Senate has begun the confirmation process. I hope Democrats will stop playing political games and that we will see Judge Kavanaugh confirmed soon."

Statement from Rep. Mike Rogers:

"I believe Judge Kavanaugh will be a strong conservative voice on the high court and will uphold the U.S. Constitution. Senate Democrats need to stop pandering to their liberal socialist base and quickly move forward to a confirmation vote as soon as possible."

Associate Dean Mendenhall said the senators will vote Sept. 13. He said Democrats could push it back to Sept. 20.

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