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Day 2 of hearings finds Kavanaugh in the hot seat

WASHINGTON — Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh touted the importance of an independent judiciary as his confirmation hearings began with strident Democratic criticism that he would be President Donald Trump’s man on the high court.

On Wednesday, Kavanaugh can expect to spend most of the day in the hot seat, sparring with Democratic senators over abortion, guns, executive power and other high-profile issues.

A long day of questioning awaits the 53-year-old appellate judge, whom Trump nominated in July to fill the seat of retired Justice Anthony Kennedy. The change could make the court considerably more conservative.

Barring a surprise, Republicans appear on track to confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, perhaps in time for the new term on Oct. 1 and little more than a month before congressional elections.

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