Dispute over Releasing Documents Dominates Kavanaugh Hearing

Sep 07, 2018, 00:50
Dispute over Releasing Documents Dominates Kavanaugh Hearing

Democratic Sen. Cory Booker (NJ) said Thursday that he would "knowingly violating the rules" of the Senate and release "committee confidential" documents about Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Cornyn said Booker's possible 2020 presidential aspirations were his motivation for releasing the document, adding that no senator deserved to sit on the committee if they wanted to be a law unto themselves.

Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein then read from an unreleased Kavanaugh email discussing the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion nationwide. Cory Booker on Thursday released documents pertaining to Kavanaugh's record deemed "confidential" by the Senate Judiciary Committee. John Cornyn, the Senate's second-ranking Republican, promptly threatened Booker with expulsion from the committee or even from the Senate, alluding contemptuously to Booker's presidential ambitions.

Pressed by Democratic Senator Dick Durbin, Kavanaugh defended a ruling he took part in issuing an order preventing a 17-year-old illegal immigrant detained by U.S. authorities in Texas from immediately having an abortion. Some people want me to become a liberal because I disagree with President Trump. "I understand the importance of the issue", he said. Democratic senators have brought this up repeatedly during his confirmation hearing, now in its third day. Close to 7% of his documents have been released to the public as part of his nomination process, whilst other nominees - such as Associate Justice Sotomayer - released 100% of their documents during their nomination.

Trump told reporters at the White House he was pleased with the hearing and said "the other side is grasping at straws". Republicans hope Kavanaugh will be confirmed by the Senate before the next Supreme Court term starts on October 1.

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Kavanaugh said Thursday he was not talking about his views but what legal scholars might say.

Leahy said there were emails from Kavanaugh's time working for the George W. Bush administration that contradicted testimony he gave.

Kavanaugh also wrote in a 2001 email that some U.S. Transportation Department affirmative action regulations used "a lot of legalisms and disguises to mask what is a naked racial set-aside".

His comments are contained in a 2003 email chain where he was advising the Bush White House about the conservative nominee Priscilla Owen and providing comments on an op-ed. Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) basically accused Kavanaugh of lying at his 2006 judicial confirmation hearing when he denied being involved in discussions related to the detention of enemy combatants.

There was a tense exchange on Wednesday night between Sen. "The court specifically went through all the factors in stare decisis in considering whether to overrule it", Judge Kavanaugh said about the Casey decision.

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Each of the Judiciary panel's 21 members is initially questioning Kavanaugh for half an hour, with more follow-up questions in the coming days.

"Have you had any conversation about Robert Mueller or his investigation with anyone at that firm?"

That opinion, however, deeply frustrated conservatives because its three co-authors were Republican appointees expected to reverse Roe: Justices Sandra Day O'Connor, David Souter and, significantly, Anthony Kennedy, whose seat Judge Kavanaugh would fill.

Kavanaugh has taken a different tone during his confirmation hearings, stressing how hard it is to overturn a precedent such as Roe. "I'm sure you can understand, sir, how it puts all of us in a very hard situation when it's not you.it's somebody you have to go - then go back to a person named Bill Burck to decide if some document - who is an associate, who is an associate and colleague of the nominee - to figure out which documents are going to be released".

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