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Protesters continue to interrupt Kavanaugh hearings

06 September 2018

Read all of the documents Booker released here.

On the second day of Judge Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing, lawmakers took their first opportunity to grill him over the administration's withholding of documents from his time in the Bush White House, gun legislation, and whether a sitting president can be compelled to respond to a subpoena.

Republicans had deemed that email, as well as almost 190,000 other documents from Kavanaugh's time in the Bush White House, "committee confidential", meaning they could only be viewed by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee in private.

The tone is different from Kavanaugh's remarks during the confirmation hearings stressing how hard it is to overturn precedent like Roe.

Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein then read from an unreleased Kavanaugh email discussing the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion nationwide.

Kavanaugh said the case "is an important precedent of the Supreme Court that has been reaffirmed many times".

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"The documents Booker released today contain several emails regarding Judge Kavanaugh's concerning views on racial profiling and affirmative action", the statement said.

Sen. Kamala Harris of California asked Kavanaugh late Wednesday if he had spoken about the Russian Federation investigation with anyone at the law firm founded by Marc Kasowitz, who has represented Trump.

"The fundamental problem in this case is that these DOT regulations use a lot of legalisms and disguises to mask what in reality is a naked racial set-aside", he wrote.

They continued as the Senate Judiciary Committee pressed Kavanaugh on abortion rights and assault weapons.

Since Judge Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court, many have questioned him about his loyalty to President Donald Trump, but the judge told Americans where his loyalties lie during his Senate testimony.

Many reports claimed that Judge Kavanaugh thought the president was above the law.

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Under questioning by Republicans, Kavanaugh stressed the importance of judicial independence, "not being swayed by political or public pressure". The appeals court ruled that the abortion could go forward, but Kavanaugh dissented, saying that the government could require her to first be assigned to a US "sponsor" who she could then consult with about the abortion, if she wanted to. Senators are now questioning Kavanaugh for the second day.

Senator Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., the judiciary panel's top Democrat, echoed the sentiment of the protesters. "Lawyers need to have backbone even in pressured moments to say 'no, '" Kavanaugh said. The email, Booker believes, shows that Kavanaugh was open to police doing racial profiling. They were released by the committee minutes later.

Panel chairman Sen. Charles Grassley jumped in and implied Booker was grandstanding.

Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii also tweeted in support of Booker, saying: "Yesterday, I referred to a "Committee confidential" document where Judge Kavanaugh questioned the validity of programs that benefit Native Hawaiian programs, and by extension, Alaska Natives".

The documents in question are not classified but are marked "committee confidential", meaning members of the committee have access to them but they aren't released to the public. John Cornyn (R-TX), rebuked Booker for what they appeared to believe at the time was a violation of the rules.

Booker's fellow Democrats on the committee immediately jumped to his defense, as did Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. They say they fear that Kavanaugh's confirmation would shift the Supreme Court's balance for years.

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The two also worked together to screen applicants who wanted to clerk for Justice Anthony Kennedy, whom Kavanaugh clerked for and whom he would replace.

Protesters continue to interrupt Kavanaugh hearings