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Durbin Grills Kavanaugh Over Executive Powers

Dick Durbin
Jacquelyn Martin
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., questions President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018.

There were some tense exchanges between U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Thursday during the judge's confirmation hearing

Durbin asked Kavanaugh whether he will provide a necessary check on Trump's executive power.

“We are at a moment where the president has shown contempt for the federal judiciary unlike any president we can recall,” Durbin told Kavanaugh. “He has shown disrespect for the rule of law over and over again.  He has repeatedly ridiculed the attorney general of the United States whom he chose. 

“Give us some reassurance about your commitment to Democratic institutions in this country in the face of a president who seems prepared to cast them aside," Durbin said.

Kavanaugh said he believes in an independent judiciary.

“No one is above the law in the United States,” Kavanaugh replied. “That’s a foundational principle that I’ve talked about.”

Kavanagh added when the courts overrule a president, there is no appeal.

“When a court order requires a president to do something or prohibits a president from doing something under the constitutional laws of the United States, in our constitutional system that is the final word,” Kavanaugh said.

Kavanaugh has not committed to removing himself from cases directly involving Trump.

Durbin, who has served on the Senate Judiciary Committee for 19 years, met with Kavanaugh earlier this month ahead of the judge’s hearing.

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Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.
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