>> The people need to know in this country that the judges are independent.>> President Trump's Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh telling worried lawmakers on Wednesday that he would be his own man on the nation's highest court.>> Not being swayed by political or public pressure, that takes some backbone.
>> I'm Andy Sullivan in Washington where Kavanaugh is sticking to one main theme through hours of questioning, independence. Seeking to reassure skeptical Democrats that he wouldn't be a conservative ideologue on the court. But also saying he shouldn't have to explain how he would come down on hot button issues like guns and abortion.
And with the Russia probe drawing closer to President Trump himself Kavanaugh skirting top questions on whether he was voted to veil at the man who nominated him. In his question and answer session before the senate judiciary committee, Kavanaugh said his decisions would be shaped by previous supreme court rulings.
Including the landmark Row vs Wade case that legalized abortion.>> As a judge, it is an important precedent of the Supreme Court. By it, I mean Row v Wade. I've been reaffirmed many times.>> You said that a president should not be subject to investigations while in office.
>> Democrats are worried that Kavanaugh could vote to shut down Special Counself Robert Muller's investigation into whether Trump's campaign worked with Russia to win the 2016 election. Pointing his 2009 Law Review article that said sitting presidents should be immune from criminal investigations.>> Just to underscore, it's real important.
Now is the proposal to be considered. It was not a constitutional position, I did not take any constitutional position on the issues raised.>> Trump claims he has an absolute right to pardon himself, does he?>> The question of self pardon's something I've never analysed.>> Protesters interrupted the hearing throughout the day, but the overall proceedings were much more sedate than Tuesday's session.
>> Mr. Chairman.>> When Democrats unsuccessfully tried to scuttle the hearings, saying they needed more time to review his record.>> Let's at least debate this issue.>> They're under pressure from liberal groups to try to block Kavanaugh, but they don't have the votes in the Republican-controlled Senate.
Trump said he's pleased with Kavanaugh's performance.>> He's an outstanding intellect. He's an outstanding judge.>> There's more grilling to come, but Kavanaugh didn't have any obvious stumbles on Wednesday and Republicans are lined up solidly behind him. That leaves Kavanaugh one step closer to confirmation and a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court.