Brett Kavanaugh is no stranger to controversy. He is, after all, one of the most fiercely contested Supreme Court nominees in recent history. But yesterday Kavanaugh found himself in the middle of a controversy completely unrelated to his policy positions when he seemingly refused to shake hands with Fred Guttenberg, the father of a student who was killed during the Parkland school shooting. The brush-off occurred during the first day of his Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill and was captured on video. It showed Guttenberg approaching Kavanaugh and stretching out his hand before the Supreme Court nominee stares for a second, quickly turns, and the walks away. Guttenberg later tweeted about the incident.
Many have come to the defense of the Supreme Court nominee, claiming that Kavanaugh was not aware of who Guttenberg was when he approached. However, Guttenberg has vehemently denied these claims, saying that he had previously been introduced at the hearing by Senator Dianne Feinstein. It is, of course, impossible to know what was going through Kavanaugh’s mind when Guttenberg approached him (in fairness, he probably has a lot on his mind) but video of the interaction doesn’t support the claim that security intervened before he could respond one way or another.
— Tommy Christopher (@tommyxtopher) September 4, 2018
Guttenberg has become an outspoken advocate for gun control since his daughter Jaime was shot and killed along with 16 other students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Earlier this year, he confronted Senator Marc Rubio during a town hall meeting about his inaction on gun violence in schools following the February shooting, saying Rubio’s comments had been “pathetically weak.” Guttenberg tweeted before the hearing that he would be there with the hope of keeping Kavanaugh from being confirmed as the next Supreme Court Justice.