Kavanaugh says had he recognized Parkland dad at hearing, he would have shaken his hand

Fred Guttenberg reaches out to shake Brett Kavanaugh's hand.
(Image credit: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh released a 263-page document on Wednesday, responding to more than 1,000 questions from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

He said, among other things, that he has never had any gambling debts, finds it inappropriate to comment on President Trump's tweets, and did not recognize Fred Guttenberg, the father of a Parkland shooting victim, when Guttenberg approached him during a break in last week's hearing. Guttenberg's 14-year-old daughter, Jaime, was killed in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February, and Kavanaugh said he thought he was a protester. "If I had known who he was, I would have shaken his hand, talked to him, and expressed my sympathy," Kavanaugh wrote. "And I would have listened to him." (You can watch the exchange for yourself.) He added that his security detail rushed him from the room in a "split second."

Most of the questions were submitted by Democrats, asking Kavanaugh about abortion, health care, his time working in the White House under President George W. Bush, and his financial affairs. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said asking so many questions was an attempt to "gum up the process," while Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called it an "exercise in selective secrecy" on Kavanaugh's part. "On questions where Judge Kavanaugh felt he had something positive to say about himself or his record, he responded," Schumer added. "On every other question, including those about women's constitutional rights, unchecked presidential power, and protections for those with pre-existing conditions, he simply stonewalled."

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Catherine Garcia

Catherine Garcia is night editor for TheWeek.com. Her writing and reporting has appeared in Entertainment Weekly and EW.com, The New York Times, The Book of Jezebel, and other publications. A Southern California native, Catherine is a graduate of the University of Redlands and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.