Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018

Tomorrow -

  • The Senate will convene at 9:30 a.m.
  • Following leader remarks, the Senate will proceed to Executive Session and resume consideration of Executive Calendar #1127, Brett M. Kavanaugh, of Maryland, to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
  • Under the rule, at 10:30 a.m. the Senate will VOTE on cloture on Executive Calendar #1127, Brett M. Kavanaugh, of Maryland, to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

 

Senator Lankford: (6:22 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "There was a push from my Democratic colleagues to say this investigation has been done by the committee. We want the investigation done by the F.B.I. With the unequivocal statement of during the Anita Hill hearings in 1991, the F.B.I. took three days to do the investigation. We want three days. Give the F.B.I. three days to be able to do this. Then it came back later, give them a week. Give them a week. That's all it would take. So a decision was made to pause and to give the F.B.I. time to do it. And here were the instructions to the F.B.I.: research any credible accusation. No boundaries, no limitations on them. Research a credible current accusation."

 

Senator Merkley: (7:07 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "And the documents we did receive we found some information. We found out that when he served he had been very involved in several nomination, discussions over nominations, even though he had indicated he had not played much of a roam. We found out that he was involved in the conversation over torture even though he had said he had not been involved. We found out that he had directly received documents stolen from Senate Democrats even though he said he had not received those documents. That's just in the documents received. What's in the 100,000 documents that the president marked presidential privilege so that we could not get them?"

 

Senator Bennet: (7:43 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "Instead of modeling our checks and balances, we are demolishing them. Somewhere we began to treat the courts as another part of the partisan war with an opportunity for one side to bloody the other side. And the worst and the latest, lowest point in that story is this shambles of a confirmation process. Weeks ago I announced that I intended to oppose Judge Kavanaugh's nomination. It was after the first round of hearings and before the later allegations of misconduct arose. Then and now I worried about what his confirmation would mean to the people of Colorado, for those with preexisting conditions who depend on the Affordable Care Act for life-saving treatment."

 

Senator Portman: (8:08 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "The students in his classes at Harvard, Yale, and Georgetown Law schools. Students from across the political spectrum. Also the litigants who have been before him, including Lisa Blatt, a self-described liberal who has argued more cases before the supreme court than any other woman. When Lisa Blatt joined Condoleezza Rice and me in introducing Brett Kavanaugh before the committee, she said he is unquestionably qualified by his extraordinary intellect, experience, and temperament. All this seems to have been lost in the past couple of weeks. I also know that Brett Kavanaugh is highly qualified to serve on the Supreme Court."

Heinrich, Tillis, Thune

Executive Session (Kavanaugh Nomination)

Oct 04 2018

Senator Heinrich: (5:42 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "But I have to ask, how can we possibly continue to move forward or as in the majority leader's own words, plow right through to confirm a lifetime appointment on our nation's supreme court in the wake of both credible allegations of sexual misconduct leveled against the nominee Brett Kavanaugh and serious questions concerning his judicial temperament? Republicans are ignoring very real questions about his credibility and are intent on hiding his record. Even worse, they are in such a rush that most of them did not even want the F.B.I. to reopen Judge Kavanaugh's background check to help us get to the bottom of this. And when the F.B.I. did reopen the investigation, the white house limited in its scope so much that it did not follow multiple credible leads. And now we as senators have barely 24 hours to review their findings before scrambling to a vote."

 

Senator Tillis: (5:51 p.m.)

  • Spoke on Pastor Andrew Brunson.
    • "Pastor Brunson has been a missionary in Turkey for about 20 years. And in 2016, there was a coup attempt, an illegal coup attempt, and people who were associated with it should go to prison because there should not be violent changes of power in nations. They have an election process. They should honor it. I have no problem with people who have evidence of having been associated with an illegal coup going to prison. But I've got a real problem with a man who, for the last two years, has been in a Turkish prison over the past couple of months finally we've gotten him on house arrest, went 19 months without an indictment."

 

Senator Thune: (6:02 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "Mr. President, a long and arduous process is finally drawing to a close. In the next couple of days, we will vote on Judge Kavanaugh's confirmation to the United States Supreme Court, and I will be voting yes. Last week, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about an allegation she made about Judge Kavanaugh. Dr. Ford deserved to be heard, and she was. Her claim - claims deserved to be investigated, and they were thoroughly by the Senate Judiciary Committee. And then they were investigated again by the F.B.I. Here's what we have learned. After seven, seven F.B.I. background investigations, more than two weeks of committee investigations, and a day-long hearing where both sides were heard, there is not one scrap of corroborating evidence to back up her claims against Judge Kavanaugh."

Kyl, Hirono, Murray

Executive Session (Kavanaugh Nomination)

Oct 04 2018

Senator Kyl: (4:32 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "I also want to just conclude this part of the presentation by saying that having sat through over 50 interviews, heard the questions asked of him and his responses, many of them repetitious and helped him to prepare for his hearing, I really believe I've got a very good idea of how he would conduct himself as an associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. That, after all, Mr. President, is the most important question before us. So the third area of inquiry gets to Judge Kavanaugh as Justice Kavanaugh. The first thing to do is to examine his qualifications and experience. This is ordinarily where we begin in our inquiry to provide advice and consent to the president after a nominee."

 

Senator Hirono: (5:02 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "And this particular case is very important because if Texas wins, that means that the A.C.A's protections for those with preexisting conditions, one out of four people in this country would be done away with. The Supreme Court will also get probably a lot of immigration cases. In many cases about DACA, sanctuary sites, temporary and protected status and family separation that are pending in the lower courts. Abortion as courts weigh the burden imposed on a woman's right to choose by laws limiting abortion in states like Texas, Iowa, and Louisiana. So it doesn't really matter? Of course it matters whether Roe v. Wade is overturned. Even if Roe v. Wade is not overturned, with Judge Kavanaugh's record, all of these limiting laws by states that I just talked about will probably be supported by him."

 

Senator Murray: (5:32 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "This wasn't an unreasonable request. It happens all the time with nominees. And for far less important positions than a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court. And it is the very least that should be done when serious allegations like these were made to make sure we are hearing from all relevant witnesses and bringing all relevant information in for consideration. But, Mr. President, this simply has not happened. This morning I went in for a briefing on the new F.B.I. investigation, and it was very clear to anyone who reviewed the material that Senate Republican leaders and President Trump cut the F.B.I. off and refused to allow them to conduct the comprehensive and thorough investigation that was promised to Democrats and Republicans."

Coons, Murphy, Warren, Udall

Executive Session (Kavanaugh Nomination)

Oct 04 2018

Senator Coons: (3:14 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "But today I want to take a moment and share with members of this chamber and folks who may be watching something else that was happening during that entire hearing that I did not expect that was powerful and unique and special in my experience as a public servant and that I've heard as I've listened to other senators of both parties who were present and who I've talked to afterwards was their experience as well. This conversation is bigger. It's bigger, it's more pressing, and it's say it's more important than the question of one Supreme Court seat and one current nominee. This is a question about whether we as a country at the highest levels of power believe victims and survivors of sexual assault and are willing to listen to them, to believe them, and to take action."

 

Senator Murphy: (3:34 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "I have come to the conclusion that Brett Kavanaugh is perhaps the most dangerous nominee for the Supreme Court in my lifetime, and I'm going to vote no tomorrow when a cloture vote comes before this Senate. And let me be clear. I had decided to vote no before his confirmation hearing, before the allegations of sexual assault were levied against him, before his second confirmation hearing, before the F.B.I. refreshed its background check investigation. That doesn't mean that I wasn't willing to do my due diligence. It's simply that his judicial record that I became familiar with as he was becoming known as one of the finalists for this selection was enough for me to decide that he wouldn't rule fairly on the questions before the court that affected the millions of people that I represent in Connecticut."

 

Senator Warren: (3:54 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "Dr. Ford's account of the most traumatic event of her life was harrowing. The pain of retelling this story was evident, and she did it for no personal gain whatsoever. In fact, her life has been turned upside down as a result of the decision to come forward. The courage she showed was remarkable. Her testimony was credible and compelling. I believed Dr. Ford. Judge Kavanaugh's testimony, very different. He spent more than 40 minutes ranting, raving, and peddling fact-free party conspiracy theories, then he insulted senators and screamed at people who had the nerve to question him."

 

Senator Udall: (4:12 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "Mr. President, at this point with so much unknown, there are serious consequences to elevating Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. We the Senate need to continue our search for the truth about this nominee, his background and his record, and hopefully we can do that in a bipartisan way. Yet, everything about the nomination process for this nominee has been deeply flawed, from the president outsourcing the nomination to the Federalist Society, to the majority leader violating his own new rule to delay consideration of a Supreme Court nominee until after an upcoming election, to a highly partisan lawyer screaming Judge Kavanaugh's documents for public disclosure instead of the nonpartisan national archives staff."

Cardin, Leahy

Executive Session (Kavanaugh Nomination)

Oct 04 2018

Senator Cardin: (2:15 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "Judge Kavanaugh's response demonstrated his lack of impartiality and pem tournament, which is a critical qualification to serve as a judge. That view was reinforced by a letter written by over 1,000 law professors and legal scholars reaching the same conclusion that I had drawn. I was very disappointed by the process on Judge Kavanaugh's nomination that was dictated by the Republican leadership. For Senator McConnell, ten months was inadequate time for the Senate to consider President Obama's choice of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court of the United States, yet Senator McConnell had no difficulty in rushing the consideration of Judge Kavanaugh to the Senate in a fraction of that time. The Republican leadership refused to demand a complete discovery of relevant documents concerning Judge Kavanaugh."

 

Senator Leahy: (2:56 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "To interview a man who wrote a sworn statement asserting that he could help corroborate Ms. Ramirez's allegations. Or two women who contacted authorities with evidence that Judge Kavanaugh tried to head off Ms. Ramirez's story before it became public. That was an apparent contradiction, total contradiction with his testimony before the Judiciary Committee. In fact, a search for the truth would have allowed the F.B.I. to at least speak with Julie Swetnick, a third accuser. Or a search for the truth would have allowed the F.B.I. to speak with Mark Judge's ex-girlfriend who recalled that Mr. Judge told her ashamedly about a sexual incident that early mirrors both Dr. Ford's and Miss Swetnick's allegations. You know, there is no mistaking. This investigation was rigged by the White House and Senate Republicans."

Duckworth, Hatch

Executive Session (Kavanaugh Nomination)

Oct 04 2018

Senator Duckworth: (12:48 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "This consistent dishonesty, this disregard, even distaste for the truth should be unacceptable in any judicial nominee, let alone one nominated to serve on the highest court in the land for a lifetime appointment. And let's be clear. How Republicans went about restricting the F.B.I. investigation this past week was questionable at best, sabotage at worst. But the reality that a suspiciously limited background check isn't enough to prove he was unfit. It was his inappropriate public outbursts and his lack of candor that are so deeply troubling, that should be so obviously disqualifying. This has nothing to do with his conservative beliefs. This has to do with the fact that the belligerent partisan operative who revealed himself last week is wholly unsuited for a job that demands levelheaded temperament."

 

Senator Hatch: (1:56 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "Truly, Mr. President, there is no one more qualified and more prepared to serve on the Supreme Court than Brett Kavanaugh, unquote. A lot has transpired in the last three months. We've received and reviewed more documents for Judge Kavanaugh than for any other Supreme Court nominee in our nation's history. We've had five days of public hearings. Judge Kavanaugh has answered more than 1,300 written questions, more questions than all previous Supreme Court nominees combined. We've had protesters in halls and hearing rooms and elevators. We've even seen the miraculous return of Spartacus, and, Mr. President, we've had the lowest, most vile, most dishonest attempt at character assassination that I've ever seen in my whole 42 years of service in the United States Senate."

Schumer, Cornyn

Executive Session (Kavanaugh Nomination)

Oct 04 2018

Senator Schumer: (11:36 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "And demeaning is the last thing Dr. Ford and others who have gone through what she's gone through needs now, or deserves now. So I would say to the leader if you're talking about partisan histrionics, if you're talking about politics of personal destruction, if you're talking about being intimidated, if you're talking about outrageous smears, you are really accusing Dr. Ford of all those things. Not anyone else. Because she is the reason we are all here in this type of discussion, and no Democrat importunes her to come. No Democrat. Senator Feinstein tried to respect her wishes and not make it public. "

 

Senator Cornyn: (12:09 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "I want to recap, just to refresh everybody's memory, what has happened since July 9 and explain briefly why I will be voting for Judge Kavanaugh to be the next associate justice on the Supreme Court. Most importantly, I want to make one point emphatically clear. The Senate should not be intimidated under the circus-like atmosphere that has unfortunately surrounded this entire confirmation process. We should not be intimidated, and we should not be complicit in the orchestrated attempt to assassinate one man's character and destroy his career and to further delay this confirmation vote. When Judge Kavanaugh was nominated, it quickly became clear we were dealing with somebody who was well qualified and well respected."

McConnell

Opening Remarks

Oct 04 2018

Today -

  • The Senate will convene at 11:00 a.m.
  • Following leader remarks, the Senate will proceed to Executive Session and resume consideration of Executive Calendar #1127, Brett M. Kavanaugh, of Maryland, to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
  • Note: on Wednesday, October 3, cloture was filed on Executive Calendar #1127, Brett M. Kavanaugh, of Maryland, to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

 

Senator McConnell: (11:11 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "The Senate is considering the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to serve as associate justice on the Supreme Court of the United States. When the noise fades, when the uncorroborated mud washes away, what's left is the distinguished nominee who stands before us. An acclaimed judge whom peers and colleagues praise in the very strongest terms, a jurist whom the American Bar Association awarded its very highest rating unanimously well-qualified. Here's what the A.B.A. says it takes to earn that distinction. To merit a rating of well-qualified, the nominee must be at the top of the legal profession in his or her legal community, have outstanding legal ability, breadth of experience, and the highest reputation for integrity and demonstrate the capacity for sound judicial temperament."