Brett Kavanaugh

When Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, announced a hearing for next Monday to air a decades-old sexual-assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, it didn't end the debate over how the Senate should handle the charges.

It intensified it.

Democrats are calling for a full FBI investigation of the allegation before a hearing, saying Monday is too soon.

Professor Christine Blasey Ford came forward on Sunday for the first time telling her story alleging that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually attacked her 35 years ago when the two were both in high school.

So how is this different from the sexual harassment allegations made against now Justice Clarence Thomas by law professor Anita Hill in 1991 at his confirmation hearing?

I know because I was there. I broke the story and then watched in amazement as events unfolded.

There are big differences and similarities in these two events.

Updated at 6:26 p.m. ET

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the woman accusing him of sexual assault more than three decades ago, Christine Blasey Ford, will both testify publicly before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 24. The committee was supposed to vote on the nomination this Thursday but faced pressure after Ford went public with her allegation over the weekend.

Ford and Kavanaugh both agreed to testify under oath before the committee.

Updated at 9:41 p.m. ET

A vote on Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court was at risk of delay on Sunday as members of the Senate Judiciary Committee from both parties said allegations of sexual assault from 35 years ago may require additional review.

UPDATED 6:46 p.m. ET

Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh strongly pushed back on an allegation of sexual misconduct from more than 30 years ago. The allegation was made in a letter by a woman who said the incident took place in high school.

"I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time," Kavanaugh said in a statement.

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Updated at 3:42 p.m. ET

Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh is back at the witness table Thursday for a third day of confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

He was pressed once again for his views on presidential power.

JIm Bourg / Pool / Getty Images

After a long day of speeches and vocal protests from the audience Tuesday, members of the Senate Judiciary Committee get down to business Wednesday, with a marathon round of questions for Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

The first day of Judge Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmation hearings was long on quarreling, protesting and speechifying. While good theater, there was little actually learned about the man whom President Trump has nominated for a lifetime seat on the nation's highest court.

Here are a few takeaways from Tuesday's often contentious session:

1. Democrats came ready for a fight

Confirmation hearings begin this week for Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

One issue state lawmakers may find most significant is reproductive rights and how Kavanaugh responds to questions regarding Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that gave women the constitutional right to choose abortion.

Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins says Kavanaugh told her that he views the landmark abortion rights ruling as "settled law."

Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

With a Republican majority in the United States Senate, the confirmation of conservative Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court may seem inevitable. 

But not to one U.S. Representative from South Florida: Debbie Wasserman Schultz. 

SAUL LOEB / AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Updated at 2:05 p.m ET

Confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh opened on a contentious note Tuesday, with Senate Democrats raising noisy objections that much of Kavanaugh's lengthy paper trail is still off limits.

The confirmation of a Supreme Court justice is often a major event that ripples through American law for decades. But Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing, which opens Tuesday, is especially historic because, if confirmed, Kavanaugh is expected to solidify a hard-right majority on the nation's highest court, a majority the likes of which has not been seen since the early 1930s, and which is likely to dominate for a generation or more.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins says Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh told her he views the landmark abortion rights ruling Roe v. Wade as "settled law."

That assurance, made during a Tuesday morning meeting in the Maine senator's office that lasted more than two hours, likely goes a long way toward securing a key vote for Kavanaugh's confirmation.

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh shares one important view with President Trump: Both are deeply suspicious of any attempt to limit the president's power over executive branch officials.

That view could have important consequences for special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the Russian interference in the 2016 election, which includes allegations of collusion and possible obstruction of justice.

What would the U.S. look like without Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that legalized abortion nationwide?

That’s the question now that President Donald Trump has chosen conservative Judge Brett Kavanaugh as his nominee to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.

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