Hirono Comments on Kavanaugh’s Confirmation

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Senator focuses on November elections, says talk of impeachment is premature.

Mazie Hirono on ABC’s “This Week”

WASHINGTON — Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and an opponent of President Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, made the following comments on ABC’s “This Week” on Oct. 7 following the Senate’s confirmation of Kavanaugh, who was immediately sworn in as an associate justice.

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Jonathan Karl, ABC News: You called this process a sham. He is now Justice Kavanaugh. Do you view Justice Brett Kavanaugh as a legitimate justice?

Hirono: He’s going to be on the Supreme Court with a huge taint and a big asterisk after his name. And the partisanship that he showed was astounding. And the conspiracy theory that he accused us of behaving in was bizarre.

So prior to his testimony I had already decided, having gone through all his record and his dissents that there was a pattern which showed that he was not for women’s reproductive choice, that is sure. And a number of other patterns that were very troubling. And I had already decided.

But with regard to this sham FBI investigation, everyone knows that when you just interview a small number of people and not the dozens of others who wanted to be interviewed by the FBI, that is a sham. And it raises more questions than it answers …

Karl: OK. So this confirmation battle is over. He is Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Do you really think the Democrats, should they win control of the House, should continue an investigation absent some new revelations?

Hirono: The confirmation battle may be over but the court-packing is definitely not over. So the Federalist Society, the Heritage Foundation, these two ultra-conservative organizations have spent decades preparing their people, like Judge Kavanaugh, for the Supreme Court and every other court for, for life.

And in fact, just next week we’re going to hear from two more for the Sixth Circuit. These are potential nominees…

Karl: But do you want the investigation — do you want to continue an investigation…

Hirono: I’m totally focused with all the angry women and the men who listen to women and support the credible accounts of sexual harassment and sexual assault, which is very under-reported, that I’m focused like a laser beam on the elections.

Because all of these angry people out there, they know that it is the people who are sitting in the Senate that they’ve elected who are making these decisions. And they’re going to go to the polls and they’re going to vote differently.

Karl: Can you rule out this idea of impeaching Kavanaugh?

Hirono: Well, it all starts with the House.

Karl: But, but, but–

Hirono: So, you know, I view so many of these things as basically — Jon, I don’t blame you for wanting to ask these questions because I know as you tried to talk to Kellyanne [Conway], it’s really hard to get a word in edgewise with her.

But with this whole impeachment thing, you know what, I’m very focused on the here and now, which is that all of these very angry women, mainly, out there who saw what was going on and how the Senate was not able to deal fairly with the entire issue of sexual assault, clearly this idea that Dr. [Christine Blasey] Ford was given, you know, all accommodation is really, I have to say, baloney.

Karl: But you won’t rule out impeachment. We’ve only had one justice…

Hirono: Jerry Nadler [ranking member of the Judiciary Committee]is not ruling out impeachment, but…

Karl: Is that a mistake though? I mean, do we really want — after we just went through all this go through…

Hirono: I’m much more focused on what we need to do which is we need to get to the polls, truly.

Karl: OK. Also you heard Kellyanne raise the issue of the protests … I want to show you something Marco Rubio tweeted just a short while ago. “Can you imagine what Democrats and many in media would be saying if it was conservatives ambushing them at restaurants, confronting them at home, disrupting Senate hearings and votes with primal screams, now literally banging on the door of the Supreme Court building? They would call it a mob.”

So let me ask you, you mentioned the anger, the anger is real, but are these tactics…

Hirono: Well, they’re very…

Karl: Do you approve of these tactics?

Hirono: The anger is real. There are a lot of people who feel very, very strongly. And the Republicans seem to forget what happened during the passage of the Affordable Care Act where, believe me, the Democrats were the focus of the brunt of screams, coffins being left on our doorsteps, all of that. So I…

Karl: Yes, but do you approve of those tactics, whether they’re — whether it’s the Tea Partiers or whether it’s the resistance?

Hirono: People are making their own decisions because, as you know, in our country, civil disobedience is very much a part of our country. And of course, if you go over the line, then you have to be held accountable.

But people feel very strongly. That’s what happens in our country. People felt very strongly about the Affordable Care Act back then.

Karl: Sure. Let me ask you about what [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell had to say about all of this … So was this a political mistake? You lost the confirmation battle. He’s on the Supreme Court, and now all the indications are Republicans are more energized than they were two weeks ago.

Hirono: With Mitch McConnell, everything is political, starting from after President Obama got elected and he said, “My goal in life is to make sure that he’s a one-term president, that there was not going to be a Supreme Court seat filled by — with Merrick Garland.” Everything with Mitch McConnell is political and I have to say, he’s very ruthless about it. Now, I had major concerns about Judge Kavanaugh, even before —

Karl: You were against him before the hearing started.

Hirono: Because I actually studied his cases and I read his — particularly his dissents, which are very telling, very much against reproductive choice. So it doesn’t matter to me, frankly. Yes, of course it matters if they go over there and actually overturn Roe v. Wade, which I doubt they’re going to do. But as Kellyanne said, the states are very busy passing all kinds of laws that would limit a woman’s right to choose. It’s those things that will go before a justice.

Karl: And you doubt they will overturn Roe v. Wade

Hirono: Even if they don’t … they will nullify it, pretty much.

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