Senate

Kamala Harris asks Kavanaugh if ‘both sides’ were to blame in Charlottesville

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Wednesday didn't directly answer a question about whether there was blame "on both sides" at last year's deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., saying he needed to "stay out of commenting on current events."

During the second day of Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) asked whether Kavanaugh believed there was blame on both sides at the rally, referencing President Trump's comments days after the rally that there was "blame on both sides" during the event that left one counterprotester dead.

"One of the principles I've articulated throughout this hearing is the independence of the judiciary," Kavanaugh responded. "And one of the things judges do ... is stay out of current events, stay out of commenting on current events, because it risks confusion about what our role is. We are judges who decide cases and controversy. We're not pundits. We don't comment on our current events."

Harris pressed Kavanaugh, asking if he was saying that the question was too difficult to answer.

"I'm saying the principle of the independence of the judiciary means I can't insert myself into politics in either of two ways: commenting on political events or, in my view, commenting on things said by politicians," he said. "I'm not here to assess comments made in the political arena, because the risk is I'll be drawn into the political arena."

Trump sparked fierce criticism when he blamed both sides for the violence at the rally that left 32-year-old counterprotester Heather Heyer dead after authorities say a self-described neo-Nazi drove a car into a crowd of counterprotesters.

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