More important, however, is making certain nothing stands in Kavanaugh's way that would delay confirmation beyond the November elections, when Democrats have an outside shot of winning a Senate majority.
The contentious eight-hour Senate Judiciary Committee meeting was punctuated by dozens of interruptions by opposition Democrats and protesters as Judge Brett Kavanaugh sat stone-faced during the proceedings.
Feinstein argued that Kavanaugh's opinion in Garza v. Hargan - a case the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia heard a year ago - showed that from her perspective, he was wrong on abortion.
As the hearing continues this week, lawmakers will ask Kavanaugh questions about his point of view on how much power presidents should have.
I was here all day and introduced by Senator Feinstein.
"To me, Justice Kennedy is a mentor, a friend, and a hero".
And the worst part about this is that it really hurts Judge Kavanaugh and it hurts the court. The reason that Supreme Court nominations have become such a high-stakes game is that the legislature doesn't want to conduct tough votes on policy, Sasse stated. Late Tuesday, a group of them huddled to hash out strategy in the office of Durbin, a senior member of the Judiciary panel, according to a Democratic aide.
"I wanted to be there to make sure he understands what he's being asked to do has real-world consequences", Guttenberg said.
Of particular concern to many - including protesters who came dressed as characters from the distopian novel "The Handmaid's Tale" - is the fact Kavanaugh's appointment could endanger Roe v Wade - the Supreme Court ruling giving women access to abortion. "We're seeing a lot of table pounding this morning", Cruz said.
Serena Williams: ‘Every Human’ Should Be ‘Completely Grateful’ for Colin Kaepernick
There were more cheers when the home favorite then broke for a 2-0 lead and Williams rolled on to victory. But Williams didn't back down from either challenge. "Obviously it won't be easy", she said .
Democrat senator Mazie Hirono said Kavanaugh was an "ideologically-driven conservative" who had been "knee deep in partisan politics" throughout his career.
Democrats also complained that the Trump administration blocked the release of more than 100,000 pages of documents detailing Kavanaugh's service in the George W. Bush White House. The Kavanaugh hearings are expected to last three to four days; it remains to be seen whether the handmaids will stay the course for the duration.
It was no less than Senator Grassley and Senator Cornyn who, during the Kagan nomination, said, no, we need to see the documents before the hearing.
Democrats say Kavanaugh's views on presidential immunity deserve special scrutiny now, given the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election by special counsel Robert Mueller, which has already implicated a number of Trump associates.
"And it's that president who has decided you are his man".
"I'm concerned that he won't be that person", Guttenberg said. "And therefore, we are there to do our job", Sen.
News photographers clicked pictures of a smiling Kavanaugh, a conservative federal appeals court judge, as he entered the hearing room along with his wife and two daughters.
Questioning of the nominee will begin on Wednesday, and votes in committee and on the Senate floor could occur later in September. But that image of refusing to shake the hand of a father who lost his daughter earlier this year should disturb people of every political stripe.