Brett Kavanaugh: Supreme Court pick 'questioned abortion ruling'

Sep 07, 2018, 03:03
Brett Kavanaugh: Supreme Court pick 'questioned abortion ruling'

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is denying that he once suggested the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling on abortion rights is not settled law.

In an email written when he was a lawyer in the White House under President George W. Bush, Kavanaugh gave advice on how to amend a document that characterized Roe v. Wade as "the settled law of the land".

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh prepares to testify during the third day of his confirmation September 6, 2018.

Sen. Dick Durbin of IL says his questions to Kavanaugh on the topic stem from the judge's embrace of robust presidential power and the fact that he has been nominated by Trump. As Kavanaugh hesitated, saying he didn't remember, Harris said, "Are you saying with all that you remember- you have an impeccable memory, you've been speaking for nearly 8 hours, I think more, to this committee about all sorts of things you remember- how can you not remember whether or not you had a conversation about Robert Mueller or his investigation with anyone at that law firm?"

Two of the Democratic senators who have been most forceful in the Kavanaugh hearing, Booker and Kamala Harris, are considered potential 2020 presidential candidates.

Booker's office later released the document (read it here) in which Kavanaugh was critical of some Department of Transportation affirmative action policies. They railed against the unusual vetting process by Republicans that failed to include documents from three years Kavanaugh worked in the Bush administration, and 100,000 more pages withheld by the Trump White House.

"The fact that there is nothing in that document that's personal information, there's nothing national security-related, the fact that it was labeled as committee confidential, exposes that this process, sir, is a bit of a sham", Booker said.

That may worry some pro-lifers, but the website LifeNews observed that Kavanaugh did not say that there is a "right" to abortion.

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies during the third day of his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 6, 2018. Democrats lack the votes to block confirmation, but have been pressing Kavanaugh for his views on abortion rights, gun control and other issues. Conservatives hope that Kavanaugh's confirmation could create a conservative majority on the court, potentially for decades.

In his days before the committee, Kavanaugh has declined to answer questions about how he would handle investigations of the executive branch and whether he would step aside if cases involving Trump under Mueller's probe end up at the court.

Asked about it by the committee's top Democrat, Dianne Feinstein of California, Kavanaugh reiterated his previous testimony that "Roe v. Wade is an important precedent of the Supreme Court".

Almost two hours after Booker's dramatics were proven cynical at best, CNN's home page announced, "Cory Booker releases confidential emails".

Mr. Booker quoted from the emails during his questioning of the judge.

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

"Running for president is no excuse for violating the rules of the Senate or of the confidentiality of the documents that we are privy to", Cornyn said in response, highlighting Booker's broadly acknowledged future ambitions.

Shortly after 1 p.m., it was announced that the restrictions on releasing the emails, which had been labeled "committee confidential", had been waived in the morning.

Kavanaugh also said Thursday that he doesn't recall conversations of any kind with anyone at the law firm, Kasowitz Benson Torres, but that he doesn't know everyone who might work there.

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