The Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh kicked off on Tuesday. And if Democratic members of the committee had their way, the hearings would have ended the same morning.
Almost immediately after the Kavanaugh hearings began, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) called for a vote on a motion to adjourn. Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) repeatedly dismissed this motion as out of order.
Other Democratic senators including Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), and Kamala Harris (Calif.) backed up Blumenthal, demanding that the motion to adjourn be put to a vote. Notably, ranking member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) did not get involved in this effort.
Blumenthal and his colleagues argued that they needed more time to review Kavanaugh’s record, saying that they had been given documents too recently to review all of them, and that they had not been given enough documents from Kavanaugh’s past.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) commented that it was hard to take the Democrats’ request to consider the nominee’s record more closely seriously since they had already announced that they would he voting against Kavanaugh:
It’s hard to take seriously their claim that they can’t do their job because they’ve been denied access to attorney-client or executive privilege documents when they’ve already made up their mind before the hearing. There’s nothing fair about that, and we would just ask for an opportunity for the American people to be able to listen to this nominee answer the questions that we have. And I think that’s how we ought to proceed, and I hope we will.
The determination of the Democrats in the hearing comes after a weekend phone call by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). Schumer had called for members of his party to disrupt the hearing, and worked to coordinate what these attempts might look like.
Kavanaugh was nominated by President Donald Trump to fill the vacancy on the court left by retiring Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy.
The photo caption above incorrectly labeled Rhode Island Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse as a Republican. This post has been corrected.