Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh will tell the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday that he will be a “team player” if confirmed for the high court.
“I would be part of a Team of Nine, committed to deciding cases according to the Constitution and laws of the United States,” Judge Kavanaugh will say, in excerpts of his opening statement released by the White House. “I would always strive to be a team player on the Team of Nine.”
Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing begins Tuesday, with a partisan fight expected from Democrats seeking to block his nomination to the seat vacated by retired Justice Anthony M. Kennedy.
The nominee will say that Justice Kennedy is a “mentor, a friend and a hero.”
“A good judge must be an umpire—a neutral and impartial arbiter who favors no litigant or policy. … I don’t decide cases based on personal or policy preferences,” Judge Kavanaugh will say. “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.”
He also is praising Judge Merrick Garland, his colleague on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, whose Supreme Court nomination by President Barack Obama was blocked by Senate Republicans in 2016.
“I have served with 17 other judges, each of them a colleague and a friend, on a court now led by our superb chief judge, Merrick Garland,” Judge Kavanaugh will say.
Democrats are furious that the administration waited until Monday night to release a new batch of 42,000 pages of Judge Kavanaugh’s documents from previous government service.