Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats took their protest over the rushed confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh to the next level by leaking to the media documents placed off-the-record by the Executive branch or Committee Republicans, who threatened retaliation. Richard Blumenthal of CT, "selecting a justice on the Supreme Court who potentially will cast a decisive vote in his own case".
Instead, her stinging defeat almost two years ago has left her on the outside, where she's launched a series of tweets attacking President Trump's nominee Brett Kavanaugh, saying he'll gut women's rights, workers' rights and health care. The New Jersey Democrat indicated that by releasing the documents, he's engaging in "civil disobedience".
Democrats say they have considerable misgivings about Kavanaugh's pledge to be nonpartisan, saying he has a history of conservative political activism.
But Booker says he can't share the email with the nominee because it is among those that have been labelled "committee confidential" - available to senators, but not the public. 'Running for president is no excuse for violating the rules of the Senate, ' he said at one point.
"I am not sure that all legal scholars refer to Roe as the settled law of the land at the Supreme Court level since Court can always overrule its precedent, and three current Justices on the Court would do so", Kavanaugh wrote after reviewing a draft of what was meant to be an op-ed in favor of a judicial nominee.
Republicans countered Kavanaugh's judicial opinions, which should be the greatest indicators of his qualifications, are public record and should be the focus of the hearing. Over the first two days of Kavanaugh's confirmation proceedings, dozens of women supporting abortion rights have shouted their opposition to him in the hearing room, with security officials promptly ejecting them and charging them with disorderly conduct.
"I don't think we want judges commenting on the latest political controversy", Kavanaugh said. "I understand the importance of the issue". Democrats lack the votes to block confirmation but have been pressing Kavanaugh for his views on abortion rights, gun control and other issues.
"If Brett Kavanaugh becomes a Supreme Court justice, will he help gut or overturn Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in America?" tweeted Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate. He said victims of sexual harassment need better information about how to come forward.
Lawyers who had argued cases in front of Kavanaugh recalled him as an active questioner from the bench, and a very well prepared jurist who would fit in on a Supreme Court whose justices are largely not shy in oral arguments with advocates.
A Catholic, he has been a US Court of Appeals judge in Washington for the past 11 years.
Senator Feinstein asked Kavanaugh why he dissented with his colleagues on the D.C. federal appeals court over a ruling where they upheld a ban on semi-automatic rifles. "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. Conservatives hope that Kavanaugh's confirmation could create a conservative majority on the court, potentially for decades.
"I thought we were doing pretty well yesterday", he said, "but things went off the rails, it looks like, last night".
Harris is one of several Democrats concerned about Kavanaugh's view of whether a sitting president can be indicted. But after a marathon 12-hour session Wednesday, he also does not seem to have changed minds on the Judiciary Committee, which is split along partisan lines.
In a second day of Senate hearings, Brett Kavanaugh said no-one was above the law but he would not be drawn on what he called a hypothetical question.