We’ll have more on the first day of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings after headlines.
The piece was written in response to the Supreme Court case Rice v. Cayetano, in which the Supreme Court ruled that excluding voters because they are not Hawaiian violated the 14th and 15th amendments.
Booker focused on a document he said described Kavanaugh’s views as a White House aide under former President George W. Bush on the use of “racial profiling” in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States that the senator said had been blocked from public release by committee Republicans. But he said he didn’t see semi-automatic rifles as “unusual”. He put out his hand to Kavanaugh, who paused for a moment before turning away as a security guard stepped in.
House members don’t get to vote on Kavanaugh, but Richmond plans to testify about Kavanaugh as an outside witness on Friday, the final day of confirmation hearings. But he refused to provide direct answers to Democrats who wanted him to say whether there are limits on a president’s power to issue pardons, including to himself or in exchange for a bribe.
Hirono also asked Kavanaugh if he had ever sexually harassed or assaulted anyone, a question she has asked every nominee. Some people want me to become a liberal because I disagree with President Trump.
Trump has often criticized the judiciary. The second day of hearings on Wednesday was marked by the same sort of shout-and-arrest pattern.
Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s nominee, could at some point be called upon to rule on a challenge related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election. After a pause, he said, “Um, I’m happy to answer a more specific question”. Democrats have attacked the records production on two fronts.
“I’m saying the principle of the independence of the judiciary means I can’t insert myself into politics in either of two ways: commenting on political events or, in my view, commenting on things said by politicians”, he said.
The conservative Rubin concluded, “It’s for this very reason that it’s so critical to get all his materials out in public view and get definitive questions to senators’ answers”.
While decrying gun violence and sympathizing with Feinstein’s horror over school shootings, Kavanaugh said, “I understand the issue, but as a judge, my job was to follow the Second Amendment opinion of the Supreme Court whether I agree with it or disagree with it”.
Feinstein asked Kavanaugh about his 2009 article that concluded sitting presidents should be free from the distractions of civil lawsuits, criminal prosecutions and investigations.
In a 2002 email, Kavanaugh writes that security procedures adopted in the wake of the September 11 attacks should ultimately be race-neutral, though he acknowledged that developing such procedures could take time. Roe isn’t “settled law”; if it were, there wouldn’t be an iota of the sturm and drang surrounding SCOTUS confirmation hearings that we typically experience. Richard Blumenthal of CT, “selecting a justice on the Supreme Court who potentially will cast a decisive vote in his own case”.
Kavanaugh called the Roe decision “an important precedent of the Supreme Court that has been reaffirmed many times”.
While stopping short of calling the Roe case correctly decided, Kavanaugh’s remarks suggested he might be cautious toward overturning it.
The president’s contentious nominee for the nation’s highest court told Blumenthal that it would be inappropriate for him to make commitments on how he would handle potential cases. The New York Times had earlier obtained some of the documents relating to emails Kavanaugh wrote touching upon abortion and race issues when he served in the Bush White House.
“The government’s conduct in the case had already forced her to delay her decision on an abortion by several weeks”, Durbin told Kavanaugh. “The president of the United States who has nominated you is an unindicted co-conspirator implicated in some of the most serious wrongdoing that involves the legitimacy of his presidency”.