Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation tumbled into highly charged arguing Thursday over whether key documents were being withheld, and one Democrat risked Senate discipline by releasing confidential material.
Booker asked for Kavanaugh's opinions on racial profiling now, but was opposed by Senator Mike Lee, a Utah Republican, who complained that the email in question had not been made public.
Kavanaugh has been fielding sharp questions at the confirmation hearings on Capitol Hill on some of the most contentious issues raging in American society, including gun rights, presidential power and abortion. The documents were marked "committee confidential" - meaning that only members of the Senate Judiciary Committee (which includes Booker) could have access to them. "If Senator Cornyn believes that I have violated Senate rules, I openly invite and accept the consequences of my team releasing that email". "This is what happens in a free country when people can stand up and speak and not be jailed, imprisoned, tortured and killed because of it", Democratic Senator Dick Durbin said.
"If there's going to be some retribution against the senator from New Jersey, count me in", said Sen. "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".
There had been intense speculation among senators that Democrats would invoke the two-hour rule on Thursday, forcing McConnell to either adjourn the Senate or let the Kavanaugh hearing be shut down.
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Booker pushed back, blaming the process of having a private lawyer and former colleague of Kavanaugh, Bill Burck, vet the documents as the problem.
And he praised the landmark Supreme Court ruling that President Richard Nixon was required to turn over White House tape recordings and other evidence related to the Watergate scandal. The emails in question were apparently a discussion between Democrats over how to question Bush's judicial nominees, and were stolen by a Republican staffer named Manuel Miranda.
The 12 pages are emails to and from Kavanaugh in 2001 and 2002, when he worked for the George W. Bush administration. Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) followed Booker's lead, tweeting screenshots of an email thread from Kavanaugh regarding Native Hawaiian rights. It was instead, he said, his prediction for "what legal scholars might say". He said he offered the comments on a draft op-ed in support of Republican judicial nominees because, "I'm always concerned with accuracy".
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh prepares to testify during the third day of his confirmation September 6, 2018.
The second day was equally contentious, however, one moment in particular was incredibly tense - and powerful when California Sen.
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Kavanaugh's questioning has carried strong political overtones ahead of the November congressional elections. Protesters have added to the challenges for the hearing, repeatedly interrupting proceedings.
"I haven't had any inappropriate conversations about that investigation with anyone". The court now has four conservative justices who may be willing to overturn Roe - Justices Thomas and John C. Roberts Jr., Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch - and if he is confirmed, Judge Kavanaugh could provide the decisive fifth vote.
While Judge Kavanaugh reportedly said he considers Roe "settled law", Ms. Feinstein asks whether it is "correct law".
On Wednesday night, Booker questioned Kavanaugh about racial equality and the treatment of minorities, including laws that allow race to be considered in university admissions.
As the hearing paused for a lunch break, Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was killed in the Parkland, Florida high school mass shooting in February, tried to talk to Kavanaugh but the nominee turned away.
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