Thursday round-up

In a marathon session yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee completed its first round of questioning of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s nominee to succeed Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. We live-blogged the questioning here, and Jon Levitan rounded up early coverage and commentary. At The Hill, Lydia Wheeler and Jordain Carney report that “[p]rotesters repeatedly interrupted Brett Kavanaugh during the Supreme Court nominee’s second day of confirmation hearings, but Democrats took a gentler tack, letting the nominee speak before challenging him with questions.” Nina Totenberg recaps the proceedings at NPR (audio). Amy Howe runs down the highlights in a podcast at Howe on the Court; Rewire.News’ Boom! Lawyered podcast offers takeaways from the questioning.

At The Daily Caller, Kevin Daley reports that Democrats “pressed … Kavanaugh for his views on executive power, special counsel Robert Mueller, race-driven policymaking and the Me Too movement,” while Kavanaugh “followed the well-trodden path of previous Supreme Court nominees, agreeing to discuss existing bodies of law but refusing to engage with hypotheticals.” At Education Week’s School Law Blog, Mark Walsh reports that Kavanaugh “called Brown v. Board of Education ‘the greatest moment in Supreme Court history,’ but said the nation’s efforts to fulfill the landmark civil rights opinion’s promise remain unfinished.”

For The Economist, Steven Mazie looks back at the opening day of the hearing, when “the torpor of the typical opening-day hearing was broken” as Democrats objected to what they considered an unacceptably truncated and hasty production of documents from Kavanaugh’s days in the George W. Bush White House and numerous demonstrators disrupted the hearing room. At Empirical SCOTUS, Adam Feldman analyzes transcripts from four earlier hearings and concludes that “we can expect an even more polarized process than we have seen in previous hearings.”

Briefly:

  • For this blog, Andrew Hamm looks at some of the “real-world consequences” of the Supreme Court’s decision three years ago in Johnson v. United States, which struck down part of a statute that “imposes sentencing enhancements on repeat offenders who commit crimes with guns.”

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