ibusinesslines.com November 15, 2018

McConnell recesses Senate amid Kavanaugh hearings

07 September 2018, 03:03 | Justin Tyler

McConnell recesses Senate amid Kavanaugh hearings

Cory Booker

The Supreme Court confirmation hearing for Judge Brett Kavanaugh turned into a fight over Senate rules Thursday morning, with arguments about the release of confidential documents and threats of the possible expulsion of some members.

The Supreme Court nominee says during his Senate confirmation hearing that he has not been afraid to invalidate executive branch actions in his 12 years as an appeals court judge. "Under questioning from Senator Harris and Democrats, Judge Kavanaugh has been evasive, failed to answer simple questions, and demonstrated he's a partisan who has executed a political agenda as a judge", Tyrone Gayle, press secretary for Harris, tells TIME when presented with Ahrens and Severino's comments.

Democratic Senator Cory Booker called the process used by the Republican-led committee to decide which documents to make public "a bit of sham", a characterization rejected by the panel's chairman, Chuck Grassley. "There's no hecklers' veto", he said, in the Senate, which has been forced to cut short its business this week amid Democratic objections over the panel's process.

"I know that we still have at least a day and half of hearings, so I figure there's going to be more to listen to", Murkowski said.

Later, when Kavanaugh continued to stumble over response, Harris said, "I asked the question just a minute ago, I'm surprised you forgot". Democrats and Booker responded, "Bring it on".

Read all of the documents Booker released here. Years later, having served in the George W. Bush administration, Kavanaugh wrote that presidents should be shielded from legal proceedings while in office. The document had been among many held by the Senate Judiciary Committee as confidential, over the objections of Democrats, who have argued throughout this week's hearing that Republicans have shielded important papers about Presidential Donald Trump's nominee.

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

During the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Democrats dug in on controversial issues.

When pressed on the memo by Dianne Feinstein, Kavanaugh pointed out that he was performing an analysis of current thought among conservatives on the issue, not his own personal views. Cory Booker said he would release an email that had been designated committee confidential.

Kavanaugh has repeatedly described the abortion ruling as important Supreme Court precedent hard to overturn.

So far, Kavanaugh appears to have avoided any major missteps that could block his confirmation.

"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 added, referring to speculation that Booker might run for president in 2020. Kamala Harris put Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on edge with a surprise question at his confirmation hearing on whether he spoke with anyone about the investigation into Russian election meddling.

The draft, meant to be submitted under the name of a "high-profile, pro-choice" women in support of a Bush judicial nominee, had said that "it is widely understood accepted by legal scholars across the board that Roe v. Wade and its progeny are the settled law of the land".

Mr. Booker quoted from the emails during his questioning of the judge. "I think you're thinking of someone but you don't want to tell us".

A day earlier, in a dramatic exchange, Booker implied Kavanaugh had been open to racial profiling tactics, citing the email exchange between Kavanaugh and a colleague.

Kavanaugh eventually said he couldn't think of any such conversations but would need to see a list of lawyers who work at the firm.

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