Democrats make final attempt to block Kavanaugh confirmation

US senator, risking punishment, releases Kavanaugh emails on race

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Sen. Cory Booker amped up the drama around Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings Thursday when he passionately defended his decision to release confidential documents about the judge's record.

The email was obtained by The Associated Press as senators were launching a final round of questioning Thursday of President Donald Trump's nominee. For The Washington Post, Seung Min Kim focuses on the testimony of John Dean, former White House counsel for the Nixon Administration, "who played a crucial role in the Watergate scandal" and testified against Kavanugh's confirmation. In what nearly seemed like a celebration Thursday, Kavanaugh's two daughters returned to the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing room for the final hours of testimony, accompanied by teammates on Catholic school basketball teams their father has coached.

The tone is different from Kavanaugh's remarks during the confirmation hearings stressing how hard it is to overturn precedent like Roe. Still, she's sent signals that Kavanaugh cleared a hurdle by telling her that Roe v. Wade establishing abortion rights is settled law.

He emphasized his belief that Roe v. Wade was "an important precedent of the Supreme Court" that has "been reaffirmed many times". She said Kavanaugh told her during their face-to-face meeting that he views the 1973 decision as established legal precedent. In 2001, Democrats successfully blocked President George W. Bush's nomination of Miguel Estrada to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit for over two years. Affirmative action refers to policies that favor groups like racial minorities in practices such as hiring that have experienced past discrimination.

Senators on the Judiciary Committee are likely to vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation on September 20 with a vote by the full Senate the following week.

In a similar vein, Kavanaugh in his testimony Thursday referred to contraceptives as "abortion-inducing drugs" while describing a case involving insurance coverage for all forms of birth control.

Judge Brett Kavanaugh on the third day of his Senate confirmation hearings dodged questions about whether he would recuse himself from cases related to the special counsel Robert Mueller or the Russian Federation investigation if they reach the Supreme Court.

"He was nominated by a president who undermines daily the nation's democratic order and mocks the constitutional values that Judge Kavanaugh purports to hold dear", the article said. "A vote for judge Kavanaugh is a vote against Roe", she said. Under questioning, Kavanaugh declined to say whether a president is subject to a subpoena or whether he can pardon himself.

In a line of his dissent that has attracted some conservative criticism, however, Kavanaugh also wrote that Supreme Court precedent "strongly suggests that the government has a compelling interest in facilitating access to contraception for the employees of these religious organizations". The demonstrators fear that Kavanaugh's confirmation would shift the Supreme Court's balance for years on issues like abortion rights, LGBT freedoms and gun control. The Republicans have released just 4% of Kavanaugh's White House record to the public. They were released by the committee minutes later. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the judiciary committee.

"No senator deserves to sit on this committee or serve in the Senate, in my view, if they decide to be a law unto themselves and willingly flout the rules of the Senate and the determination of confidentiality and classification". Republican John Cornyn of Texas warned him that senators could be expelled for violating confidentially rules.

With Booker's act of civil disobedience providing more transparency to Kavanaugh's hearings, many Democrats have rallied behind their colleague, some joining him in breaking Senate rules. Still, the battle may have changed the Democrats, who are being transformed by a new generation of politicians spoiling for a fight with Trump, even if it creates political challenges for some Democratic candidates in the November election.

Minutes later, three more women - the activists were almost all women - were removed as they shouted "Vote no on Kavanaugh!" and "My daughter has the right to choose!"

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