Senate begins final day of Supreme Court nominee hearings

Senate begins final day of Supreme Court nominee hearings

Kerry Wise
September 13, 2018

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh stressed on Thursday that he believes the judiciary has broad authority to check the power of the White House, but refused to criticize the man who selected him, President Donald Trump.

As of November 2003, when the sergeant-at-arms seized the Judiciary Committee's servers, Kavanaugh would have been on notice that any of the letters, talking points, or research described as being from Democrats that were provided to him by Miranda were suspect and probably stolen from the Senate's server.

Bennet, a Democrat and Colorado's senior senator, released a statement via Twitter on Tuesday morning saying the nominee will threaten women's right to abortions and make decisions that would end up causing harm to the environment.

The documents released on Thursday dated from Kavanaugh's service in the White House under Republican President George W. Bush more than a decade ago.

During confirmation hearings last week, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was asked about his relationship to former GOP Senate aide Manuel Miranda.

With Republicans holding a slim 51 to 49 majority in the Senate, it appears unlikely that efforts to defeat the Kavanaugh nomination will succeed. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, also is being closely scrutinized on Kavanaugh. King said Kavanaugh would be a "far right" judge replacing a more centrist justice, Anthony Kennedy.

Beddard, a graduate student, said that she was drawn to protest Kavanaugh's nomination due to his stance on Roe v. Wade, a 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion nationwide. He said his favorite writing from the Federalist papers is Federalist No. 69, in which Alexander Hamilton details how the USA presidency is not a monarchy, he showed that he can list every name and age of the players on the girls basketball team he coached, and more.

Fears that Kavanaugh, if confirmed to the court by the Senate, could open the door to scaling back abortion access, were a key focus at the hearing.

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Kavanaugh's replies about his views on presidential immunity - potentially significant in the Trump era - were misleading, Democrats said.

"I am also deeply troubled by Judge Kavanaugh's views on executive power".

"When he (Nicholas) fell over, I fell over with him", she said.

"I think that's what legal scholars have ― some ― some legal scholars have undoubtedly said things like that over time, but that ― that's different from what I as a judge ― my position as a judge is that there's 45 years of precedent and there's Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which reaffirmed Roe", he said.

Democrats said Kavanaugh should not confuse birth control with abortion. Should the president's legal team decide, as they have threatened, to contest that principle in court, it is imperative that the Supreme Court ensure that the president is held accountable.

But in a odd twist, Republicans on the Judiciary Committee said that the George W. Bush library and the Justice Department had cleared several of the documents for public release the previous night, suggesting that Booker, in fact, was not risking anything by going public with the documents.

That changed at this week's hearings, when the committee released a number of previously undisclosed emails that Leahy said raised new questions about Kavanaugh's knowledge that the documents were improperly taken.

In Kavanaugh, we have a nominee that is every bit as much of a right-wing ideologue as Bork and every bit as much of an apparatchik as Miers (indeed, Kavanaugh succeeded her as Bush's staff secretary and both worked in the office of the White House counsel).