Brett Kavanaugh on Wednesday refused to say whether he believed that a sitting president could be forced to testify in a criminal case - a key question considering special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
The top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen.
Durbin pointed out that the minor had already gotten the approval from a judge, as a required by Texas law, to seek the abortion, and asked Kavanaugh why he wanted to add a requirement that she must also have an immigration sponsor before obtaining it.
Kavanaugh responded: "I can't give you an answer on that hypothetical question".
The theatrics came as Republicans opened four days of confirmation hearings on Kavanaugh, a federal judge who previously worked for the George W. Bush administration and the independent counsel's office, and has a long paper trail dating to the 1990s.
Kavanaugh will be answering questions from senators all day.
In another consequential exchange, Kavanaugh would not say if a president was legally obligated to comply with a subpoena.
Kavanaugh later contributed to prosecutor Kenneth Starr's report into Clinton's affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, and which outlined several grounds for Clinton's impeachment.
Fred Guttenberg, who attended the first day of Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings as a guest of Sen.
Democrats have protested the White House's withholding of 100,000 pages of documents related to his years in the Bush White House. "No one is above the law in our constitutional system", he said. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, said in an unsparing opening statement that criticized Kavanaugh's judicial opinions and the Senate process that Democrats said had deprived them of access to records of important chunks of Kavanaugh's time as an aide to President George W. Bush.
"That takes some backbone".
Bernie Sanders speaks with protesters in front of the Supreme Court. "A judge must interpret the Constitution as written, informed by history and tradition and precedent", he said.
Kavanaugh compared the Roe decision to another case, Miranda v. Arizona, which requires law enforcement to tell suspects their rights.
Video: The first day of Judge Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings on September 4 was delayed almost 90 minutes as Democrats made repeated requests for Kavanaugh documents along with motions to adjourn.
Capitol Police on Tuesday removed 61 protesters opposed to Kavanaugh from the room - often forcibly dragging them as they defiantly screamed about reproductive rights and other issues - and charged them with disorderly conduct. The hearing is expected to begin at 9:30 a.n. ET.
Shortly after Grassley opened the session, protesters began interrupting the proceedings and were hauled out of the room by security personnel.
But with Trump's fellow Republicans holding a slim majority in the Senate, and with no sign of any of them voting against the nomination, it remains highly likely Kavanaugh will be confirmed to the lifetime job on the High Court despite Democrats histrionics.
Democrats have indicated that they intend to pressure Kavanaugh into explaining his stance on a number of issues, including whether he would uphold Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark case that legalized abortion. Kavanaugh, a federal appeals judge, was nominated by Trump in July to replace the retiring justice Anthony Kennedy, who had been a critical swing vote on the nine-member bench.
The 53-year-old Kavanaugh, no stranger to Washington politics, sat stone-faced throughout.