Brett Kavanaugh hearings: Supreme Court nominee faces more grilling

06 September, 2018, 21:11 | Author: Marie Harrington
  • Who Is Zina Bash

Cory Booker (D-N.J.) followed through today on his vow to risk expulsion from the Senate by releasing confidential emails from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyDems switch tactics on second day of hearings Washington's facade of civility was buried with McCain Democrats force Senate to adjourn to protest Kavanaugh MORE's (R-Iowa) office without the confidential markings minutes before Hirono's tweet.

The drama surrounding Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings continued on Thursday, as Sen.

After Cornyn read the Senate rules about the repercussions for disclosing confidential business of the Senate, which includes committees, which carries the punishment of expulsion from the chamber, Booker responded, "bring it".

"Running for president is no excuse for violating the rules of the Senate", Cornyn snapped, referencing speculation that Booker might make a bid for White House in 2020. "This is what happens in a free country when people can stand up and speak and not be jailed, imprisoned, tortured and killed because of it", Democratic Senator Dick Durbin said.

The e-mail, dated January 17, 2002, and titled "racial profiling", Kavanaugh says he generally favors race neutral security measures, but needs to grapple with the question of what to do in the interim before a "truly effective and comprehensive race-neutral system is developed and implemented".

However, in a March 2003 email Senate Republicans have deemed "committee confidential" and therefore concealed from the public eye, Kavanaugh suggested the landmark decision is not in fact settled law. Republican John Cornyn of Texas said senators could be expelled from office for violating confidentially rules, while Democrats led by Cory Booker of New Jersey, responded, "Bring it on". He said he was "shocked and disappointed".

Cornyn replied by reading from a Senate rule.

Put another way, Booker - and the four or five colleagues who joined his act of "civil disobedience" - will nearly certainly not face expulsion. Democrats lack the votes to block confirmation but have been pressing Kavanaugh for his views on abortion rights, gun control and other issues. It's also believed that Kavanaugh will likely overturn Roe V. Wade, the legal precedent that has ensured access to abortion for women across the United States at a federal level.

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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.

Not all Democrats have said they will oppose Mr Kavanaugh, and several may even support his nomination.

Kavanaugh said that he had not been been aware of the program until it was reported by the New York Times and said that he could not recall if he had ever raised questions about the constitutionality of such a program.

When asked about the email Thursday, Kavanaugh said he recommended the edit to the op-ed because he didn't think the draft accurately reflect the view of all legal scholars.

"No one is above the law", including those in the executive branch, he told the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Sens. Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska are the only two Republicans even remotely open to voting against Kavanaugh, though neither has said she would do so. Kamala Harris, a California Democrat, on Wednesday night.

Kavanaugh refused, as all other Supreme Court judges have before him, to answer hypothetical questions about impeachment.

In the Minnesota Law Review, Kavanaugh argued that while the nation requires a check against "a bad-behaving or law-breaking president", that check is provided only by the US Constitution.

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