Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) introduced U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh at a contentious hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.
Portman emphasized the Kavanaugh's work ethic, intelligence and integrity. He acknowledged the often sharp critiques leveled by Democrats against President Trump's pick.
“I heard quite a bit of it already today,” Portman said. “And there should be this discussion. This is about a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land. In my view, there is not a better qualified person to be on that court.”
Portman has crossed paths with Kavanaugh, as they served in various roles for previous GOP administrations. He's also been helping prepare Kavanaugh for the hearings.
In his remarks, Portman urged members to focus on the nominee’s accomplishments instead of voting along party lines.
"I know these are partisan times here in Washington, but this is an extraordinary nominee in every respect," Portman said. "Based on his record, his qualifications, and his character, I believe he deserves broad support."
The first in a week’s worth of hearings was marked by Democratic senators pushing to suspend proceedings. From the very outset of the hearing, Democrats interrupted the chair, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), complaining about more than 40,000 pages of Kavanaugh-related documents released late on Monday. Senators say they have not had sufficient time to review the records.