A man whose daughter died in the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, was snubbed by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as he tried to shake his hand during a break in Tuesday’s confirmation hearing.
Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jamie was killed in the February 2018 attack, approached Kavanaugh after he rose from the witness table for a lunch break.
Guttenberg held out his hand to the judge, who paused for a moment before turning away as a security guard stepped in. Afterward, Guttenberg tweeted that Kavanaugh “did not want to deal with the reality of gun violence.”
White House spokesman Raj Shah says security intervened before Kavanaugh could shake the hand of the “unidentified individual.”
Just walked up to Judge Kavanaugh as morning session ended. Put out my hand to introduce myself as Jaime Guttenberg's dad. He pulled his hand back, turned his back to me and walked away. I guess he did not want to deal with the reality of gun violence.
— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) September 4, 2018
After the encounter, Capitol Police talked with Guttenberg. He was again sitting in the hearing room for the afternoon session.
As Judge Kavanaugh left for his lunch break, an unidentified individual approached him. Before the Judge was able to shake his hand, security had intervened. https://t.co/ylOhtA1s6G
— Raj Shah (@RajShah45) September 4, 2018
Guttenberg, who is Jewish, has been a vocal advocate of gun control since the at Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting.
One of the issues Kavanaugh is likely to be questioned on is his view of gun rights.
— Tommy Christopher (@tommyxtopher) September 4, 2018
In addition to some of his previous rulings which raised concern among those advocating for gun control, USA Today reported that the NRA was spending upwards of $1 million to get Kavanaugh elected to the Supreme Court.
Kavanaugh, 53, has served for the past 12 years on the federal appeals court in Washington, DC, which is considered the second most important court in the country after the Supreme Court. His conservative record includes a dissenting opinion last year that would have denied immediate access to an abortion for an immigrant teenager in federal custody.
Kavanaugh worked in key White House positions when George W. Bush was president and was a member of independent counsel Kenneth Starr’s legal team that investigated President Bill Clinton in the late 1990s, leading to Clinton’s impeachment.
As a young lawyer, Kavanaugh worked for Justice Anthony Kennedy, whom he would replace on the high court. Kennedy retired at the end of July. Trump’s successful first nominee, Neil Gorsuch, also was a Kennedy law clerk the same year as Kavanaugh.
Questioning of the nominee will begin on Wednesday, and votes in committee and on the Senate floor could occur later in September. If all goes as Republicans plan, Kavanaugh could be on the bench when the court begins its new term on October 1.