Shaheen, Hassan will vote against Kavanaugh

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee this week

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee this week

The confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh were a long four days in which lawmakers grilled President Donald Trump's nominee to serve on the Supreme Court.

The third day of the confirmation hearing again was repeatedly interrupted by protesters hostile to Kavanaugh.

Though Kavanaugh this week referred to the decision legalizing abortion nationally as established precedent, recently released emails show that as a White House lawyer in 2003 he advised against referring to the ruling as "settled law". The only recent case in which Kavanaugh ruled on abortion came previous year, when he argued that an undocumented minor teenager in federal custody should not be permitted to have an abortion immediately. The judge explained that he was actually questioning the claim that legal scholars generally agreed that abortion was "settled law".

"I think my comment in the email was that might be overstating the position of legal scholars and so it wasn't a technically accurate description in the letter of what legal scholars thought", Kavanaugh explained, adding, "The broader point was simply that I think it was overstating something about legal scholars, and I'm always concerned with accuracy, and I thought that was not quite [an] accurate description of all legal scholars because it referred to all".

"Senate Democrats are not happy about this fact and they did everything they could to stop Judge Kavanaugh's confirmation process this week", he said. Harris moved on quickly, peppering Kavanaugh with an aggressive series of rapid-fire questions on everything from gay marriage rights to separations of illegal immigrant families at the border. "Is anything written in the document?"

She said that because Kavanaugh lied about the stolen material three times under oath, he should be rejected for the Supreme Court and removed from his current bench.

On a policy level, which could provide key insights into how he might rule should he be confirmed to the highest court in the U.S., answers were mixed.

"The liberty clause talks about liberty", Kavanaugh stated. Hunter Lechance, a 15-year-old asthma sufferer, warned that if Kavanaugh is confirmed it would mean "more air pollution, more asthma attacks, and more premature deaths for the millions of Americans unfortunate enough to be afflicted with asthma like me". "And that's an important precedent to the Supreme Court". What are the limits on this concept? "Have you discussed the special counsel investigation with anyone outside the group of judges on the D.C. Circuit [Court of Appeals]?" What are the limits on the ability of the court to find a penumbra of rights that apply to a particular situation? "If you torpedo Kavanaugh you'll likely end up with someone worse". "What are the outer limits to this?" Kavanaugh responded that "they are widely-possessed in the United States" and "they are used and possessed".

On Wednesday, Beddard and two other "handmaids" removed their costumes to go into the hearing room.

These interventions continued throughout the week, with the Women's March even creating a "funeral procession" of women in funeral attire who marched towards the hearing.

Kavanaugh testified that the group was being forced to provide health coverage for birth control "over their religious objection". Brian Fallon, the executive director of Demand Justice and a former Schumer staffer, said Democrats should make a criminal referral to the Justice Department.

If confirmed, Kavanaugh would be Trump's second Supreme Court appointment.

Democrats at Kavanaugh's Senate confirmation hearing also pressed the conservative federal appeals court judge over newly released emails highlighting his views on abortion and racial issues after a partisan fight over the public release of the documents. Grassley said Tuesday that he planned a committee vote on the nomination in mid-September.

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