Democratic senators pounced on their Republican colleagues from the very start of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing for the Supreme Court. The calls for more time to review the nominee’s record and complaints about the nomination process threw Judiciary Committee chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) off his game and briefly derailed the hearing Tuesday morning. But the demonstration was a pale pantomime of what real minority power would have looked like if the judicial filibuster for Supreme Court nominees were still in effect. In lieu of power, Democrats made a brief display of effort on Tuesday. It’s not likely to take them very far.
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Kavanaugh makes his pitch: Kavanaugh finally got his chance to address the committee after hours of windy opening statements from committee members and protests from members and attendees died down. It’s a safe bet that Kavanaugh has already locked down the votes of the Republican caucus. What’s left on the table are the handful of votes from Senate Democrats in red or purple states who are up for reelection in November. His opening statement stressed his moderate credentials in what seemed like a move designed to squeeze the handful of Democratic maybe votes.