CNN panel calls out Brett Kavanaugh's “baldly partisan” testimony

Alisyn Camerota: “Aren't Supreme Court justices supposed to be open-minded, be fair-minded?”

From the September 28 edition of CNN's New Day

Video file

DAVID CHALIAN (CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR): I just want to say the partisan piece was actually the most surprising thing to me yesterday. We knew he was going to come in hot, we knew President Trump was not pleased with how he was defending himself, and wanted him to come [inaudible]. I was very surprised because his partisan past was such a part of the original confirmation hearings that Democrats were trying to get him on, that he had sort of bent over backwards to shed himself of that partisan past and he embraced it wholeheartedly yesterday as part of his anger, his clear anger, but saying that you guys are doing this --revenge of the Clintons. I just thought that is really surprising for somebody who very well may end up on the highest court in the land, who wanted to engage in a partisan battle in addition to the other brawling to clear his name. 

ALISYN CAMEROTA (CO-ANCHOR): And Laura, what about that? The fact that he was so baldly partisan, aren't Supreme Court justices supposed to be open minded, be fair-minded? What about that, that he went after the Clintons, he was lecturing the Democrats? 

LAURA COATES (CNN LEGAL ANALYST): Well, certainly it was surprising, especially if there was any notion or any wavering on behalf of the American people to think we have got this ideological divide in the Supreme Court, and we know there are four conservative and four liberal justices, I wonder if he will be the swing vote that Kennedy was? It seems pretty clear that he will transform the ideological composition of the Supreme Court into the conservatives. And so I think it was very clear in that respect.

He had gone to great lengths, you're correct, in his confirmation process to show that he would have a temperament that was fair, that was going to be judicious and diplomatic. And so I don't think he is in any way going to be an advocate on behalf of those who he perceives have tried to harm him. 


What I was surprised, the notion of he wasn't aware of the fact that his temperament and his bombasticness that fully did mirror the president at times would be considered by those four key votes that you talked about, John and Alisyn, at the beginning. Because those are the people that have to be convinced. 


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