Trump's Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh vows independence, sidesteps questions


The email was obtained by The Associated Press as senators were launching a final round of questioning Thursday of President Donald Trump's nominee.

During the confirmation hearing on Wednesday, Kavanaugh said: "As a general proposition I understand the importance of the precedent set forth in Roe v. Wade".

That opinion, however, deeply frustrated conservatives because its three co-authors were Republican appointees expected to reverse Roe: Justices Sandra Day O'Connor, David Souter and, significantly, Anthony Kennedy, whose seat Judge Kavanaugh would fill.

In response to the exchange and the accusations levied against Kavanaugh by Leahy, several progressive watchdog groups-namely Demand Justice, MoveOn, and NARAL Pro-Choice America-jointly called on Senate Democrats to "unilaterally release records that are now in their possession", those marked "committee confidential", that might be able to confirm whether or not Kavanaugh lied under oath.

Kavanaugh, however, declined to answer how he would rule on whether President Donald Trump, who nominated him to the high court, could be subpoenaed to answer questions from special counsel Robert Mueller about Trump's 2016 campaign's links to Russian Federation and whether Trump, as president, obstructed justice by trying to thwart the investigation.

Cornyn criticized Senate Democrats' "high jinks" after they invoked a rarely enforced rule to shut down Senate floor proceedings at 1:16 protest of the confirmation hearings.

Though the emails had previously been labeled "committee confidential", Grassley noted his staff worked through Wednesday night to tackle "last-minute" requests from Democrats to release the documents publicly. "I'm sure you can understand, sir, how it puts all of us in a very hard situation when it's not's somebody you have to go - then go back to a person named Bill Burck to decide if some document - who is an associate, who is an associate and colleague of the nominee - to figure out which documents are going to be released".

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Speaking on "Fox & Friends" Thursday, Kirk said most of the protesters he encountered could not articulate why Kavanaugh poses a danger to the country. Mike Lee (R-Utah), who pointed out that Booker was grilling Kavanaugh over documents he "can't see".

Members of the committee will have 30 minutes each to question Kavanaugh on a variety of issues and on his record as a federal judge. Richard Blumenthal of CT, "selecting a justice on the Supreme Court who potentially will cast a decisive vote in his own case".

"The public has a right to access documents about a Supreme Court nominee's views on issues that are profoundly important, such as race and the law", he continued. "In that article, you said that a president should not be subject to investigations while in office". One by one, Democrats, including Kamala Harris of California, Cory Booker of New Jersey and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, all potential presidential contenders, demanded that Republicans delay the hearing.

The judge left unanswered questions over how he would handle investigations of the executive branch and whether he would recuse himself if cases involving Trump under special counsel Robert Mueller's probe end up at the court. Kavanaugh said maintaining judicial independence "requires me to avoid commenting on current events".

"I owe my loyalty to the Constitution", Kavanaugh responded, holding up his tattered copy of the document.

Not all Democrats have said they will oppose Mr Kavanaugh, and several may even support his nomination. Republicans have declined to seek the papers, and instead have gathered documents from his work as White House counsel to Bush.