Published: Sun, September 09, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh finishes confirmation hearings

Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh finishes confirmation hearings

After two marathon days questioning Brett Kavanaugh, senators were winding up his Supreme Court confirmation hearing Friday with legal experts making their cases for and against the judge who is likely to push the high court further to the right.

Trump is a different kind of president, they say, and the Senate a changed institution after President Obama's pick for the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland, was denied a hearing or vote.

But the 53-year-old appellate judge provided only glimpses of his judicial stances while avoiding any serious mistakes that might jeopardize his confirmation.

Sen. Patrick Leahy and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

The hearing closed Friday (Sept. 7) with testimony from witnesses both in support of and in opposition to Kavanaugh.

John Dean, Richard Nixon's White House counsel who cooperated with prosecutors during the Watergate investigation, was among those scheduled to testify later Friday.

On the Republican side, former solicitors general Theodore Olson and Paul Clement will testify in support of the nominee, along with former students, law clerks and the mother of a basketball player Kavanaugh coached. The nation has the right to expect the truth from a sitting federal judge and Supreme Court nominee. "In Kavanaugh's testimony his description of their objection characterized all types of birth control as 'abortion inducing drugs'".

Some democrats believe Kavanaugh will help overturn Roe v. Wade, which gives women the right to have an abortion.

Yale law school professor Akhil Reed Amar, a liberal testifying in support of Kavanaugh, had a message for Democratic senators: "Don't be mad". She politely pressed Kavanaugh on abortion rights and gun safety in her understated way - one that has sometimes lulled adversaries into a sense of security that leads to revealing moments.

In the 2002 email, Kavanaugh said that although he favored race-neutral policies in policing, there was an "interim question of what to do before a truly effective and comprehensive race-neutral system is developed and implemented".

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His comments are contained in a 2003 email chain where he was advising the Bush White House about the conservative nominee Priscilla Owen and providing comments on an op-ed.

The document was partially redacted.

"Kavanaugh was very, very cautious to walk through Roe v. Wade as he saw it as a precedent of the court". She said Kavanaugh told her during their face-to-face meeting that he views the 1973 decision as established legal precedent.

On Wednesday, Kavanaugh declined to answer whether a president would have to respond to a court's subpoena, saying he could be asked to rule on the matter. Dianne Feinstein of California, said scheduling the hearing before the documents are ready "is not only unprecedented but a new low in Republican efforts to stack the courts". "What I found that was striking is that in the 12 years you've been on the D.C. Circuit, of all the matters that you and Chief Judge Garland have voted on together, that you voted together 93 percent of the time", Sen.

Much of the debate among senators focused more on the disclosure of documents than on Kavanaugh's record.

Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey posed the question on Thursday, asking Kavanaugh to dispel suspicions that President Donald Trump could have had the Russian Federation probe in mind when he nominated Kavanaugh to the nation's high court. Republican John Cornyn of Texas warned him that senators could be expelled for violating confidentially rules.

Booker will headline the Iowa Democratic Party Fall Gala on October 6. Democrats have blasted the administration and the GOP leadership for keeping such documents out of public view.

The White House, which is determined to have Kavanaugh confirmed before the November elections as Republicans aim to deliver on Trump's priorities, applauded the schedule announcement.

Women's March grew from a January 2017 demonstration that drew more than 500,000 people to Washington to oppose the Donald Trump's inauguration to the US presidency. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the judiciary committee.

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