Dispute over releasing documents dominates Kavanaugh hearing

Dispute over releasing documents dominates Kavanaugh hearing

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Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) on Thursday released a set of documents related to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

He was pressed once again for his views on presidential power.

Senator John Cornyn read the potential charge against Booker at the hearing, and the Democratic Senator from New Jersey responded bluntly, "Then apply the rule and bring the charges". "Whether it's voter suppression, the role of the media - case after case, we hear this president willing to walk away from the rule of law in this country".

Ironically, one of the email chains Cory Booker risked his career to release publicly actually paints Kavanaugh in a very positive light. "I've made clear in my writings that a court order that requires a president to do something or prohibits a president from doing something under the Constitution or laws of the United States is the final word in our system".

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.

Some documents have been withheld altogether.

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Democrats object that the confidential label has been applied to a wide swath of records, many of which contain no personal or sensitive information. He also would not say whether he believes a president can be subpoenaed to testify.

Booker, in particular, was criticized by Republican lawmakers for his histrionics and for releasing documents that appeared to be labeled "committee confidential" to the public. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Sen. Cornyn said it was "irresponsible and conduct unbecoming a senator".

"Running for president is no excuse for violating the rules of the Senate", Sen.

"The fundamental problem in this case is that these DOT regulations use a lot of legalisms and disguises to mask what is a naked racial set-aside", wrote Kavanaugh in the 2003 email.

In a 2001 email, Kavanaugh addresses a legal challenge to an affirmative action program within the Department of Transportation.

In his days before the committee, Kavanaugh has declined to answer questions about how he would handle investigations of the executive branch and whether he would step aside if cases involving Trump under Mueller's probe end up at the court.

He conceded that hopes he expressed almost two decades ago for a color-blind society have not been fulfilled. "Our long march to racial equality is not over". Booker's stand comes after the New York Times obtained some of those off-limits emails.

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'I am not sure that all legal scholars refer to Roe as the settled law of the land at the Supreme Court level since Court can always overrule its precedent, and three current Justices on the Court would do so, ' Kavanaugh wrote.

Holding up a printed copy of the email, Sen. Kavanaugh said that he was not discussing his views, but rather "what legal scholars might say".

On Wednesday, Kavanaugh said he understands the weight that many people attach to Roe.

Kavanaugh replied that he's unsure he knows everyone who works at that law firm and asked the senator if there was a specific person she was talking about.

Harris fired back, "I think you are thinking of someone, and you don't want to tell us". "That would ultimately lead the people to doubt whether we're independent, whether we're politicians in robes".

Kavanaugh responded to the questioning again on Thursday saying he hasn't had any "inappropriate" conversations about the special counsel's Russian Federation investigation "with anyone", adding he doesn't "recall any conversations of that kind with anyone".

But Kavanaugh demurred, saying he would not make a commitment on how he could decide or resolve a case that might come before him on the Supreme Court.

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