Kavanaugh Defends Judicial Record As Democrats Seek Answers On Hot-Button Issues

U.S. Supreme Court Nominee Judge Kavanaugh looks at Fred Guttenberg during his Senate confirmation hearing in Washington

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker injected chaos into Judge Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmation hearing Thursday by releasing confidential Kavanaugh emails with the backing of fellow Democrats in possible violation of Senate rules, calling it an act of "civil disobedience" and drawing condemnation from the Republicans on the committee. Kavanaugh reiterated his previous testimony that "Roe v. Wade is an important precedent of the Supreme Court".

Democrats have been pressing Kavanaugh for his views on abortion rights, gun control and other issues.

Leahy said that the Senate Judiciary had other documents that provide even more proof that the nominee misled senators about internal Democratic documents he received, but those records are now "committee confidential", meaning they can only be viewed by members. John Cornyn of Texas to accuse Booker of "conduct unbecoming of a senator".

Pressed by Democratic Senator Dick Durbin, Kavanaugh defended a ruling he took part in issuing an order preventing a 17-year-old illegal immigrant detained by United States authorities in Texas from immediately having an abortion.

"I thought we were doing pretty well yesterday", he said, "but things went off the rails, it looks like, last night".

"Senator, I said that it's settled as a precedent of the Supreme Court, entitled the respect under principles 'stare decisis, ' " referring to the legal principle of not overturning precedents. "I openly invite and accept the consequences of my team releasing that email right now", Booker said.

Leahy spent his remaining time asking Kavanaugh about his knowledge at the time of the warrantless wiretapping of US citizens during the Bush administration's "War on Terror" following the September 11, 2001, attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center.

And Collins suggested she wasn't concerned when asked Tuesday evening about Democratic complaints over the Trump administration's decision to withhold more than 100,000 pages of documents from the Senate Judiciary Committee over claims of privilege.

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, during his second day of Senate confirmation hearings Wednesday, defended his dissent in a federal court decision that upheld the controversial Obama-era net neutrality rules.

Kavanaugh had served as staff secretary to George W. Bush and his work in the White House has figured in the hearing.

Then it got worse: Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) took over the stage.

The committee's top Democrat, Dianne Feinstein of California, who previously discussed her own memories of an era before the 1973 law made abortion access legal, pressed Kavanaugh to explain himself.

The tone is different from Kavanaugh's remarks stressing how hard it is to overturn precedent like Roe during confirmation hearings, which opened for a third day Thursday with angry complaints and finger-pointing among senators over the unusual vetting process for the judge.

Republican Orrin Hatch gave Kavanaugh the opportunity to follow-up on an exchange with Sen.

As protesters in the audience screamed while being dragged out of the hearing room, Kavanaugh sat fingers intertwined, quietly staring ahead.

Strong Democratic opposition to Trump's nominee reflects the political stakes for both parties in advance of the November elections, Robert Mueller's investigation of Trump's 2016 campaign and the potentially pivotal role Kavanaugh could play in moving the court to the right.

"I haven't had any inappropriate conversations about that investigation with anyone".

Pressured by Democrats with Trump on their minds during Wednesday's gruelling session, the judge insisted that he fully embraced the importance of judicial independence.

Kavanaugh called it a "hypothetical question".

Leahy presented Kavanaugh with claims the judge made during the mid-2000s confirmation hearings about never receiving the stolen emails.

During the past few days of hearings, all eyes have been on Kavanaugh.

Brett Kavanaugh and Sen.

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