Susan Collins Downplays Brett Kavanaugh Email About Abortion Rights And 'Settled Law'

07 September, 2018, 04:55 | Author: Carmen Reese
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Supreme Court nominee Brett M. kavanaugh at his confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill on Thursday.

Questioning of the 53-year-old appellate judge wound down without him revealing much about his judicial stances or making any serious mistakes that might jeopardize his confirmation. After a 12-hour session Wednesday and more questioning Thursday, he did not seem to have changed minds on the committee, which is basically split along partisan lines.

The hearing pivoted during the day to Roe v. Wade, the high court's landmark abortion case.

Both abortion rights advocates and opponents place enormous stock in what potential justices say about "settled law" on the topic, as a barometer of whether they would vote to overturn the the privacy-based ruling that protects a woman's right to an abortion. That prospect worries Democrats and heartens Republicans on volatile issues including abortion, gun rights, gay rights, the death penalty, religious liberty and business regulation.

The tone in the email from 2003 contrasted with his responses to questions on Wednesday when he stressed how hard it is to overturn precedents like Roe.

Booker just released a batch of emails between Kavanaugh and other officials that date back to his early days in George W. Bush's administration as an associate of the White House Counsel at the time, Alberto Gonzales.

President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh referred to contraceptives as "abortion-inducing drugs" during day three of his confirmation hearing on Thursday. The document is partially redacted. Kavanaugh reiterated his previous testimony that "Roe v. Wade is an important precedent of the Supreme Court".

The judge left unanswered questions over how he would handle investigations of the executive branch and whether he would step aside if cases involving Trump under special counsel Robert Mueller's probe end up at the court.

Kavanaugh replied that he's unsure he knows everyone who works at that law firm and asked the senator if there was a specific person she was talking about.

"It's in the context of the Trump presidency that we ask you these questions", Durbin said.

Trump says he's pleased with his nominee's performance, and Republicans are united behind him.

More news: Japan issues evacuations for 300,000 people as typhoon Jebi bears down

Late Wednesday evening, Kavanaugh seemed to stumble at first when questioned by Democrat Kamala Harris of California about whom he might have spoken with at a law firm concerning the investigation into Russian election meddling. Marc Kasowitz, one of the firm's partners, has long worked with Trump.

"The independence of the judiciary requires that I not commit", he told Harris.

Kavanagh was responding to a question from Sen.

On a separate track, Sen.

Much of the debate has focused more on the disclosure of documents than on Kavanaugh's record.

Booker says he will violate a committee rule and release an email from Kavanaugh on the subject of racial profiling. John Cornyn (R-Texas) to file paperwork to kick him out of the Senate, acting as though his stand for transparency was an epic moment like Spartacus's slave revolt.

Democrats have called on Kavanaugh to recuse himself from cases related to Trump or Mueller. They were made available after 3 a.m. Thursday.

Booker's spokeswoman said that by raising the issue publicly the senator had been able to "shame the committee into agreeing" to release the pages to the public.

The hearing opened with Democrats complaining that various documents had not already been made public by the committee's Republican leaders.

Hirono later released the documents, about programs for Native Hawaiians, on Twitter.

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