Cory Booker says he’ll release Kavanaugh documents, knowingly risking Senate ouster

Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation hearings begin

'Coyote Ugly' star Piper Perabo arrested for fighting the man, not the moonlight

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., speaks during Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday.

The email in question was first discussed Wednesday night during Booker's questioning of Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh and his associates also seem to note legal loopholes they could invoke to get away with racial profiling and avoid liability.

Roe v. Wade is "entitled to respect" he said, adding that he understands the passion around the decision.

Both abortion rights advocates and opponents place enormous stock in what potential justices say about "settled law" on the topic, as a barometer of whether they would vote to overturn the the privacy-based ruling that protects a woman's right to an abortion.

On Thursday, after the email was made public, Kavanaugh told senators that his email did not reflect his own personal view.

The tone in the email from 2003 contrasted with his responses to questions on Wednesday when he stressed how hard it is to overturn precedents like Roe.

A leaked email obtained by the New York Times showed that as an official in the George W. Bush administration 15 years ago, Kavanaugh questioned whether legal scholars widely believed Roe v. Wade was "settled law". It was marked "committee confidential". The document is partially redacted. Feinstein pointed to Kavanaugh's claim under oath in 2004 that he "was not involved in handling" the nomination of anti-Roe v. Wade Appeals Court Judge Bill Pryor in 2003 and argued that new emails prove that assertion was false. Throughout his testimony, Kavanaugh has repeatedly insisted he fully embraces the importance of judicial independence. "All of us are ready to face that rule", added fellow Democrat Richard Blumenthal.

"Can I ask you how long you are going to say the same thing three or four times?" he asked Booker.

More news: Kavanaugh grilled in hearing over abortion, guns, Trump

In a almost eight-minute exchange on Wednesday, Harris grilled Kavanaugh on whether he had ever had a conversation with anyone at the law firm Kasowitz, Benson & Torres, which was founded by Donald Trump's lawyer Marc Kasowtiz, about Robert Mueller's investigation. When Sen. Richard Blumenthal of CT invited him to denounce Trump's criticism of federal judges, the nominee demurred. Kavanaugh has served as a judge for 12 years after being appointed by Bush. The firm in question was founded by Marc Kasowitz, who has represented Trump.

Kavanagh was responding to a question from Sen.

On a separate track, Sen. Democrats have a (not unfounded) reputation for backing down and letting Republicans bully and steamroll them.

Much of the debate among senators has focused more on the disclosure of documents than on Kavanaugh's record.

A dispute over documents relating to abortion, race and other issues dating to the prior White House service of Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump's Supreme Court pick, spilled over into the nominee's contentious Senate confirmation hearing on Thursday, as previously withheld papers were made public. "Running for president is not an excuse for violating the rules of the Senate", said Cornyn, calling Booker's threat "irresponsible and outrageous" and "unbecoming a senator". After his statement, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii announced she would release confidential documents as well. Dick Durbin said to Booker, alluding to possible repurcussions against him: "Let's jump into the pit together!" The confidential documents that have been released so far at Democrats' request are either innocuous or directly relevant to how Kavanaugh would think through cases as a Supreme Court justice.

Judiciary committee chairman, Senator Chuck Grassley, interrupted Booker during this tangent.

"My process was fair", Grassley declared.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell bemoaned the protesters' "unhinged antics" as powerless to stop Trump's choice. "There's no hecklers' veto", he said. Barring surprises, he appears likely to win confirmation in time to take his place on the bench when the Supreme Court begins its fall term next month.

Latest News