U.S. Supreme Court

Updated at 6:08 p.m. ET

President Trump says he hopes the woman who has accused Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her will appear at a hearing next week before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Speaking to reporters as he left the White House for a trip to visit flood damage in North Carolina, Trump said he "really wants to see" Christine Blasey Ford testify on Monday. "If she shows up and makes a credible showing," Trump said, referring to Ford, "that'll be very interesting, and we'll have to make a decision."

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.

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

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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

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.

There are about 2 million people who work in the federal government. Despite being in charge of the executive branch, the president is limited in the people he can fire.

But could that be about to change?

In Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump has nominated someone to the Supreme Court who believes, as he does, in an expansive view of presidential power.

Could the president hire and fire civil servants at will, for example? That question is at the heart of a concept that likely will come up often at Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings this fall.

Three-quarters of Americans think the Supreme Court should not overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling that made abortion legal nationwide, a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll finds.

But that result includes a degree of nuance.

Just 17 percent say they support overturning Roe outright. Another 24 percent say they want Roe kept in place, but they want to see more restrictions on abortion.

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