Sunday, February 25

Kavanaugh fight casts long shadow over Jackson hearing

A vitriolic fight over then-Supreme Court nominee Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughMcConnell says he hasn’t made a final decision on confirming Ketanji Brown Jackson Sasse: ‘There are things in Judge Jackson’s record that are troubling’ Will Senate apply the Ginsburg or the Barrett Rule to Judge Jackson? MORE is looming over the first day of nominee Ketanji Brown JacksonKetanji Brown JacksonDurbin: Hawley criticism of Jackson ‘inaccurate and unfair’ Sasse: ‘There are things in Judge Jackson’s record that are troubling’ Criminal justice reformers rally for first public defender on Supreme Court MORE‘s confirmation hearing. 

Several senators on Monday brought up the 2018 Supreme Court battle, when Kavanaugh’s relatively low-key nomination was upended by sexual assault allegations that came out after the Judiciary Commitee had held its hearing with Kavanaugh. 

Kavanaugh denied the allegations and was ultimately confirmed, but the fight over his nomination has hung over the Senate. Protesters at the time of the Kavanaugh fight confronted senators around the Capitol complex, and police officers escorted rank-and-file senators, who normally walk around the Capitol alone or with a staffer, to and from votes. 

Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyWhere to watch Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearing Senate GOP eyes Hunter Biden, Fauci probes after midterms  GOP senators seek probe of ‘egregious’ conditions at NJ nursing home MORE (Iowa), the top Republican on the committee, became the first GOP senator to mention Kavanaugh, contrasting the low-drama start to the hearing to the 2018 hearing. Though Jackson’s hearing has invited guests attending in the room, it wasn’t open to members of the public more broadly. 

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“We won’t try to turn this into a spectacle based on alleged process fouls. On that front, we’re off to a good start,” Grassley said. 

But he was hardly the last GOP senator to mention the Kavanaugh hearings. 

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin redirects to Putin’s Wikipedia page Russia warns anyone transporting weapons to Ukraine is a legitimate military target Cassidy says transfer of Polish jets to Ukraine ‘within the rules of the game’ MORE (S.C.), the next GOP senator to speak, contrasted how Republicans would treat Jackson with the tensions over Kavanaugh. 

“Democratic senators are not going to have their windows busted by groups. It means that no Republican senator is going to unleash on you an attack about your character when the hearing is almost over,” Graham said.

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGOP rises to meet Ukraine challenge to define itself White House pushes back on ‘disingenuous attacks’ against Jackson Hawley says sentences in 10 child porn cases raise red flags on Supreme Court pick MORE (R-Texas) told Jackson that her hearing will have none of the “disgraceful behavior” of the previous fights. 

“No one is going to ask you, with mock severity, ‘do you like beer?'” Cruz said. 

Kavanaugh said during his opening statement during a one-day hearing where he responded to questions about the sexual assault allegations that “I liked beer. I still like beer.”

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