"I would always strive to be a team player on the team of nine". But justices often do say they seek consensus, and they like to focus on how frequently they reach unanimous decisions.
Fred Guttenberg, whose 14-year-old daughter Jaime died in the February shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, attended the hearing to listen to discussions on the Second Amendment, which protects the rights of gun owners. His conservative record includes a dissenting opinion a year ago that would have denied immediate access to an abortion for an immigrant teenager in federal custody.
He worked under special counsel Kenneth Starr in his investigation into President Bill Clinton's relationship with intern Monica Lewinsky in the 1990s.
Aged just 53, Kavanaugh would replace retired swing-vote Justice Anthony Kennedy in a lifetime appointment, a move that could solidify a hard-right court majority and help shape key aspects of American society for a generation or more. Questioning will begin Wednesday and last at least two days. A Supreme Court that sticks to an originalist reading of the Constitution would deflect political and policy questions back to the political and policy branches, rather than carve out more jurisdiction for themselves in one direction or another.
Several Democrats interrupted the hearing, insisting lawmakers needed time to review documents related to nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh that were released Monday night by the Trump administration. After conferencing over the holiday weekend, the Democrats barely let Kavanaugh's weeklong confirmation get started before taking over, essentially shouting down Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen.
Republicans brushed aside complaints that Kavanaugh is too partisan and accused Democrats of stalling tactics.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the top Democrat on the committee, warned that Kavanaugh would tilt the high court to the right, especially on hot-button issues such as abortion and gun control. Kavanaugh did not shake his hand.
"This nominee has devoted his entire career to a conservative Republican agenda", said Sen.
They pointed to endorsements from fellow judges and Kavanaugh's legal associates, liberals and conservatives, including a number of women.
Republican Sen John Cornyn of Texas complained the hearing was being overtaken by "mob rule" His colleague Orrin Hatch from Utah demanded that a "loudmouth" protester who was drowning out his remarks should be removed.
Kavanaugh, in his statement Tuesday, gave a shout-out to Garland, "our superb chief judge".
Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa gaveled in the first day of hearings on Tuesday morning. Dozens of protesters added to the chaos, with the U.S. Capitol Police arresting 70 people for disorderly conduct or unlawful demonstrations. Rob Portman of OH and liberal lawyer Lisa Blatt.
Kavanaugh is also likely to be questioned about his thoughts on presidential power and immunity.
Kavanaugh has been a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia since 2006.
Noting that Kavanaugh has more than 300 opinions and submitted around 17,000 pages with his committee questionnaire, Grassley is likely to stress that he's released thousands of pages and that he's only asked for non-privileged documents and that Democratic requests for every document would have taken months to complete. Republicans hold a slim Senate majority and can confirm Kavanaugh if they stay united. She said more than 90 percent of his records are being withheld from the Senate and the public. But consistent with the uproar of the Trump era, Kavanaugh was upstaged even before he delivered his opening statement, as stunning revelations began to emerge of a new book by veteran reporter Bob Woodward that portrays Trump as a grave threat to national security and raging and incompetent.
Republicans also past year reduced the margin for advancing Supreme Court nominations from 60 votes in the 100-seat Senate to a simple majority in order to force through the confirmation of Trump's first high court nominee Neil Gorsuch.