Richard Blumenthal

Kavanaugh, Ford Will Appear Before Judiciary Committee in Public
Supreme Court nominee, woman who accused him of sexual assault will be heard out

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, was among the senators calling for a public hearing about the accusations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate Judiciary Committee will have a public hearing Monday, Sept. 24, on the sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, a former Judiciary Committee chairman, confirmed the scheduling update to reporters on Monday evening. The news broke after senators had arrived back at the Capitol Monday afternoon and after a meeting of Judiciary Committee Republicans in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office about how to proceed in light of allegations made by Christine Blasey Ford.

Trump, White House Will Let Senators Resolve Kavanaugh Fracas
President sharply questions top Judiciary Democrat Feinstein’s tactics

President Donald Trump greets Judge Brett Kavanaugh and his family while announcing his nomination to replace Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy on July 9. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump and his White House staff have handed Senate Republicans the reins, hoping they can steer Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh around sexual misconduct allegations and onto the high court.

Trump remained silent about allegations made by Kavanaugh’s accuser for most of Monday before the president backed delaying the confirmation process — which had included a planned Thursday vote by the Senate Judiciary Committee — so senators can hear from Kavanaugh and accuser Christine Blasey Ford. But Trump also called the notion of withdrawing the nomination “ridiculous.”

Senate Scrambles for Next Move With Kavanaugh Nomination in the Balance
Growing number of senators say accuser, judge should be able to have say

The Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh hung in the balance on Monday as senators sorted out the chamber's next move in light of sexual assault allegations against the judge. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The most important of those voices was Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, who said Christine Blasey Ford, a California college professor, deserves to be heard after coming forward publicly with the allegation over the weekend.

“So I will continue working on a way to hear her out in an appropriate, precedented and respectful manner,” Grassley said in a news release.

FDA Threatens to Stop Sales of Flavored E-Cigarettes
Agency gives companies 60 days to present strategy to curb youth use

The FDA wants e-cigarette manufacturers to take steps to curb youth use or “face regulatory consequences.” (Matt Cardy/Getty Images file photo)

The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday announced it may force e-cigarette manufacturers to stop selling flavored products, citing what Commissioner Scott Gottlieb called an “epidemic” of youth use.

Five companies, including JUUL Labs, Inc., maker of the popular, USB-drive shaped device with nicotine flavors, will have 60 days to give the FDA a strategy on how they will curb youth use — “or face regulatory consequences,” Gottlieb said.

Kavanaugh Would Not Be Trump’s Justice, Experts Testify
Despite high marks, Sen. Blumenthal again raises ‘judicial independence’ concerns

Brett Kavanaugh, nominee to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court, is sworn in during his confirmation hearing. (Photo By Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

American Bar Association officials told the Senate Judiciary Committee Friday that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh received the highest possible marks in an assessment of his qualifications for the job, including keeping “an open mind.”

After studying his record and conducting a list of interviews, the organization determined the nominee would be an independent justice even as Democratic senators worry about his ties to the Trump White House.

3 Takeaways From Brett Kavanaugh’s Testimony
Americans ‘rightly’ will have ‘dimmer view of the Senate,’ Graham says

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies Wednesday before members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

ANALYSIS — Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh spent two days jousting with Senate Democrats over his views on executive power and abortion rights. But he appeared mindful that his top job was to keep all 51 Republican senators firmly in his corner.

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee rarely flustered the 12-year veteran of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and by midday Thursday several complimented his knowledge of the law and character. Republican Judiciary members began Thursday in a huddle called by Chairman Charles E. Grassley and spent the second day of questioning refuting Democrats’ criticisms of the nominee and defending him.

Capitol Ink | Judicial Restraint

Kavanaugh Hearing Erupts in Chaos as Dems Demand Documents
Kamala Harris: ‘We have not been given an opportunity to have a fair hearing’

The first day of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's Senate hearings began in chaos from Democrats on the Senate Judiciary panel as well as protesters opposing his confirmation. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic members of the panel overseeing Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination interrupted the hearing and protesters injected chaos as Chairman Charles E. Grassley attempted to start the proceedings.

“We have not been given an opportunity to have a fair hearing,” said Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., a potential 2020 presidential candidate.

Kavanaugh Will Stress Independence of Judicial Branch in Hearing
Feinstein says Republicans refusing to examine nominee’s full record in ‘rushed’ confirmation

President Donald Trump nominates Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy at the White House in July. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will tell senators Tuesday he believes in the “independence” of the judicial branch and, if confirmed, he would act as “umpire ... who favors no litigant or policy.”

A good judge must be an umpire — a neutral and impartial arbiter who favors no litigant or policy,” he will tell the Senate Juidiciary Committee as his confirmation hearing begins. “I don’t decide cases based on personal or policy preferences. I am not a pro-plaintiff or pro-defendant judge. I am not a pro-prosecution or pro-defense judge. I am a pro-law judge.”

Democratic Senators to Trump on Manafort, Cohen Pardons: Don’t Go There
President’s former top aides found or pleaded guilty on eight federal charges apiece Tuesday

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., left, and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., warned President Donald Trump not to pardon Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic senators issued a warning to President Donald Trump about exercising his pardoning powers on two of his top former aides, 2016 campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his longtime attorney Michael Cohen: You don’t want to go there.

Cohen pleaded guilty to eight counts of campaign finance, bank fraud and tax fraud and directly implicated the president for directing him to commit a crime in a New York courtroom Tuesday.