A woman has testified that the man nominated for a vacant post on the US Supreme Court by Donald Trump carried out a sexual assault 36 years ago that “drastically” affected her life.
Christine Blasey Ford told the Senate Judiciary Committee that Brett Kavanaugh’s attack on her had left her “afraid and ashamed”.
Mr Kavanaugh has denied allegations by Dr Ford, along with those of a number of other women.
He is also due to testify.
The nine-member Supreme Court plays a vital role in US political life, as it has the final say on US law.
This includes highly contentious social issues, such as abortion, and challenges to government policy.
President Trump has called the hearing an “important day in the history of our country”.