Sci-tech

Susan Collins Downplays Brett Kavanaugh Email About Abortion Rights And 'Settled Law'

Susan Collins Downplays Brett Kavanaugh Email About Abortion Rights And 'Settled Law'

Democrats hoping to block Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmation pivoted Thursday to the deeply contentious issue of abortion after disclosure of an email he once wrote suggesting the high court's landmark Roe v. Wade ruling wasn't universally considered settled law. The firm in question was founded by Marc Kasowitz, who has represented Trump.

The exchange between the two went on for a few minutes, as Harris, a former prosecutor, repeated her line of questioning and Kavanaugh said while he didn't remember, he did not know everyone employed at the law firm.

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

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sidestepped questions on Thursday about whether he would recuse himself from cases tied to President TrumpDonald John TrumpNorth Korea to cooperate with US in nuclear talks: report Nike to air Kaepernick ad during 'Thursday Night Football: report Brothel owner who won Nevada GOP primary being investigated over sexual assault allegations MORE or that spawn out of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russian Federation probe MORE's probe into the 2016 election.

Harris, who has been mentioned as a 2020 presidential contender, returned to questioning Kavanaugh, asking him again if he had a conversation with anyone about Mueller's investigation. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who called them "irresponsible and outrageous".

"We were surprised to learn about Senator Booker's histrionics this morning because we had already told him he could use the documents publicly", Burck said by email.

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

In releasing the documents, Booker decried the entire confirmation process as a "sham" and said that there was no reason that these documents should have ever been marked "Committee Confidential".

"Give us some reassurance about your commitment to the democratic institutions in this country, in the face of a president who seems prepared to cast them aside", Durbin said. The documents were made available after 3 a.m. Thursday, a few hours before the committee was gaveled into session.

Kavanaugh declined to answer questions on how that case could be applied relating to the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into potential collusion between Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and Russian Federation.

The 15-year-old email underscored a dispute that has dominated part of the hearing over Kavanaugh's unusually long paper trail stemming from his years in the Bush White House.

"If there is a list of names he can be given of the lawyers to whom she is referring, I think that's fine", Lee said.

Protesters have repeatedly tried to interrupt the hearing, which has carried strong political overtones ahead of the November congressional elections. President Donald Trump says he's pleased with his nominee's performance.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell bemoaned the protesters' "unhinged antics" as powerless to stop Trump's choice. He also would not say whether he believes the president can be subpoenaed to testify. "There's no hecklers' veto", he said, in the Senate, which has been forced to cut short its business this week amid Democratic objections over the panel's process.

Other key moderate senators are also sounding positive about Kavanaugh's nomination, bolstering his chances of confirmation to the Supreme Court. Sen.


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