Susan Collins Downplays Brett Kavanaugh Email About Abortion Rights And 'Settled Law'

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies during his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing Wednesday

Blumenthal did not single out Collins and Murkowski by name, but mentioned pro-choice Republicans who are uncommitted on Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh repeatedly said the landmark case is settled law, but he left wiggle room to rule against abortion advocates once on the court. "That is the coin of the realm", Kavanaugh said, "that's a very common kind of discussion".

"This is about the closest I'll probably ever have in my life to an "I am Spartacus" moment", he said. Democratic senators have fought for access to documents from his three years as staff secretary, saying those could shed light on his views about policies from that era, including the detention and interrogation of terror suspects. Lee complained that Booker was relying on an unreleased email to question Kavanaugh's openness to racial profiling by police, but then agreed to work for its release. She notes that Kavanaugh said in the email that there were three justices at the time who would overturn Roe v. Wade. A newly disclosed email revealed that President Donald Trump's pick once suggested Roe v. Wade was not settled law.

Kavanaugh on Wednesday called the abortion case an "important precedent" that has "been reaffirmed many times".

Kavanaugh said Thursday that he has not discussed or given any hints about his views of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

A Democratic aide told CNN that "we have reason to believe that a conversation happened and are continuing to pursue it".

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

When Sen. Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican, asked what constraints exist on executive power, the judge cited existing laws but also norms. "I concur with what you're doing", he said.

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Harris promised to follow up with Kavanaugh on the topic.

They also discuss a race-neutral system as ideal, but appear to acknowledge that using racial profiling in the interim would be most effective.

Pressed by Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, a Republican, on whether he would be independent from the president who nominated him, Kavanaugh responded, "No one is above the law". The documents were made available after 3 a.m. Thursday, a few hours before the committee was gaveled into session. But Booker released the messages anyway, arguing they're not "national security-related". John Cornyn (R-Texas) said at one point during Thursday's hearing, after Sen.

Publishing this email would be a breach of Senate rules that could result in Booker's expulsion from the Senate. Several Democrats said in response, "bring it on". The confidential documents that have been released so far at Democrats' request are either innocuous or directly relevant to how Kavanaugh would think through cases as a Supreme Court justice. The chain is one of numerous hundreds of thousands of documents from Kavanaugh's time as White House staff secretary that were categorized as "committee confidential" by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), meaning committee members may review them but they are not to be released to the public.

The most likely outcome of this week's hearings is a vote along party lines to send Kavanaugh's nomination to the full Senate. The document is partially redacted.

During tense confirmation hearings Wednesday, U.S. Sen.

In a footnote to a 2009 law review article, Kavanaugh wrote that "a serious constitutional question exists regarding whether a President can be criminally indicted and tried while in office".

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