"Handmaids" are protesting at Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing

But when asked more specific questions, including whether a president can be required to respond to a subpoena, Kavanaugh said, "I can't give you an answer on that hypothetical question".

If confirmed as the Supreme Court's ninth justice, he is likely to tilt an already conservative high court even more reliably to the right.

Kavanaugh's comments will do little to pacify skeptics, who have cited his opposition to a court ruling a year ago that an undocumented immigrant teenager who was in government custody was entitled to seek an abortion. Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, at one point called for the removal of a "loudmouth" protester.

But Klobuchar suggested his interpretation, which differed from the rest of his peers on the DC Circuit, who were appointed by both Democrats and Republicans, seemed to be a pattern with Kavanaugh, in which he used Supreme Court precedents selectively to arrive at a particular outcome.

"It doesn't matter who you are or where you come from, if you're right under the law, you prevail", Kavanaugh said.

Democrats have demanded in vain to see documents relating to the three years Kavanaugh, nominated by President Donald Trump for a lifetime job on the top USA court, spent as staff secretary to Bush, a job that involved managing paper flow from advisers to the president.

The hearing has strong political overtones ahead of the November election, but Democrats lack the votes to block Kavanaugh's confirmation.

To me that means figuring out what your views are, judge, on whether a president is above the law. More than a dozen people in the audience stood and shouted intermittently their opposition to the nominee, interrupting the proceedings.

The Trump administration has refused to release thousands of documents about the conservative federal appeals court judge's work for President George W Bush.

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The 53-year-old Kavanaugh, no stranger to Washington politics, sat stone-faced throughout. Durbin and other Democrats have said that they felt misled by Kavanaugh's denial and said they hoped that full disclosure of the documents would reveal more about his role.

One of several Democrats who could potentially vote for Kavanaugh, Sen.

The wide-ranging testimony underscored the potential for Kavanaugh's nomination to shape the supreme court and the decisions before it for decades to come. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) while interrupting Grassley, referring to the September 3 release to the committee of 42,000 documents relating to the nominee's work with past administrations.

Republicans hope to confirm Kavanaugh by October 1, the first day of the Supreme Court's new term. Kavanaugh said such guns are covered by the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment, which protects the right to bear arms.

We were especially troubled to learn from Mr. Burck's letter that the bulk of the withheld documents concern Judge Kavanaugh's involvement in "the selection and nomination of judicial candidates" by the Bush administration. The court begins its next term in October.

Towards the end of the day, Kavanaugh himself delivered his opening statement. "I don't decide cases based on personal or policy preferences".

But Kavanaugh told senators during his confirmation hearing on Wednesday that he could not comment on that case because it is still pending.

In 2005, 42 percent of Americans said the Supreme Court should make it harder to get an abortion while just 11 percent said it should make it easier.

"A good judge must be an umpire - a neutral and impartial arbiter who favours no litigant or policy", he said in the excerpts released by the White House. Kavanaugh again said he had never taken a position on those issues, though he did write in a 1998 article that impeachment may be the only way to hold a president accountable while in office. In practice, a president's Constitutional power to pardon is quite broad, but legal experts indicate that a presidential self-pardon would violate a Nixon-era legal principle.

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