WASHINGTON (NBC News)— Senators are expected to question Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Wednesday, the second day of his confirmation hearings, about his years in the George W. Bush White House and his views on Roe v. Wade and executive power.
The 53-year-old federal appeals court judge delivered his opening statement Tuesday in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing that lasted nearly eight hours. The hearings are expected to conclude on Friday at the earliest.
Kavanaugh said that he doesn’t decide cases based on his personal or policy preferences and that the Supreme Court “must never be viewed as a partisan institution.”
“I revere the Constitution,” he said. “If confirmed to the Supreme Court, I will keep an open mind in every case. 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.”
Democrats on the panel launched a coordinated attack as the hearing began Tuesday in which they repeatedly raised objections with Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa., blasted Republicans both for a lack of documentation related to Kavanaugh and for failing to delay proceedings after the last-minute release of 42,000 documents on Monday night, just hours before the hearings began.
Republicans are aiming to confirm Kavanaugh by the end of the month, before the high court’s next term begins in October. It appears almost certain that he will be confirmed, especially if Republicans stick together.
Former Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., Kavanaugh’s confirmation “sherpa” on Capitol Hill, will meanwhile be returning to the Senate after Arizona’s governor announced Tuesday that Kyl would fill the seat of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who died Aug. 25 from brain cancer.