Senator Kamala Harris Stumped Brett Kavanaugh With a Question About Abortion

Piper Perabo

The Supreme Court would have to rule on that question to settle the matter for good.

Grassley, who struggled to maintain order but remained patient, countered that Kavanaugh, 53, has made more documents available for review than the five previous Supreme Court nominees combined. But he said he didn't see semi-automatic rifles as "unusual". Senate Democrats have suggested that Kavanaugh could be biased in favor of the President.

But with Trump's fellow Republicans holding a slim majority in the Senate, and with no sign of any of them voting against the nomination, it remains highly likely Kavanaugh will be confirmed to the lifetime job on the High Court despite Democrats histrionics.

"Most of these people have said that they're going to vote no anyways", Grassley said.

Trump has often criticized the judiciary.

The best part came when Harris asked Kavanaugh if he spoke with someone working at Trump's law firm about Special Counsel Robert Mueller. On Wednesday, Kavanaugh said his mother showed him "the importance of women's equality".

Democrats have said that Kavanaugh could protect Trump from special counsel Robert Mueller as well as prosecutors in NY who are looking into the president's business and financial dealings. I am glad Judge Kavanaugh is before us, he has more than 300 opinions the members can review to ask about his legal knowledge and constitutional understanding.

Democrats object that the confidential label has been applied to a wide swath of records, many of which contain no personal or sensitive information.

Trump himself loomed large over the hearings, with senators raising questions about Kavanaugh's views of executive power.

Trump, in a June Twitter post, claimed "the absolute right to PARDON myself".

At least another half-dozen protesters got the boot during the second day of Kavanaugh's contentious confirmation hearing, as he tried to convince skeptical Democrats of his independence.

"It has been reported that you have said that Roe is now settled law", Sen.

Even as Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, for example, have not voted to overturn Roe, they have narrowly interpreted its breadth and declined to strike down tough state restrictions on abortion. Richard Blumenthal of CT to pledge to step aside from any Supreme Court cases dealing with Trump and Mueller's investigation.

He cited historic cases, including the Brown v. Board of Education ruling that desegregated schools and the US v. Nixon decision that compelled the president to turn over the Watergate tapes - a ruling Kavanaugh had previously questioned. The change could make the court more conservative on a range of issues.

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

"The government's conduct in the case had already forced her to delay her decision on an abortion by several weeks", Durbin told Kavanaugh.

On gun rights, Feinstein pressed Kavanaugh on his 2011 dissent in an appellate ruling upholding a District of Columbia gun law banning semi-automatic rifles.

"It may not be on his preference for key lime pie over chocolate, for instance, but it is a personal belief about what the Constitution requires and what regulatory agencies can and cannot do", she said.

"I think it's a mistake to refer to women who are using their voice to protest a flawed process - to refer to them as hysterical", she said. Kavanaugh again said he had never taken a position on those issues, though he did write in a 1998 article that impeachment may be the only way to hold a president accountable while in office.

Kavanaugh said he had known nothing about the allegations until they were disclosed past year.

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