2003 e-mail reveals Kavanaugh questioned if Roe v. Wade is settled law

Cristina Cross
September 7, 2018

Cory Booker released previously confidential documents Thursday from Judge Brett Kavanaugh's past into the public, declaring it an act of civil disobedience and saying he was ready to be kicked out of the Senate for his behavior. Richard Blumenthal of CT, "selecting a justice on the Supreme Court who potentially will cast a decisive vote in his own case". Add Supreme Court as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Supreme Court news, video, and analysis from ABC News. Republicans in turn accused the Democrats of turning the hearing into a circus. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) even read the Senate rules to his colleague during the hearing.

Also on Thursday, a newly disclosed 2003 email, separate from the messages Booker released, but also deemed "committee confidential", reveals that Kavanaugh has questioned whether Roe v. Wade - the 1973 case that affirmed the constitutional right to access safe, legal abortion - is settled law. None of this has much to do with Kavanaugh's performance on the judiciary, for which Republicans and Democrats alike have twelve years of work to discuss, debate, and determine support or opposition. The documents were labeled "committee confidential" which meant that they could not be made public or discussed in public.

Booker says he intends to release the email knowing the consequences to him could be severe - ouster from the Senate.

"I don't ever plan on running for president in 2020 or at any point in the future", North Carolina Republican Thom Tillis quipped minutes later when he also criticized Booker. Democrats lack the votes to block confirmation, but have been pressing Kavanaugh for his views on abortion rights, gun control and other issues.

Gonzales sent an email on January 17, 2002, addressing the issue of racial profiling in airport security.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misstated Cory Booker's political affiliation as Republican.

"I have no agenda in any direction", he said.

Hirono: In the piece you wrote, the Native Hawaiian community was not indigenous because, as you say, after all, they came from Polynesia. And let's just into this together. "So if there is going to be some retribution against the senator from New Jersey, count me in", Sen.

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Sen. Dick Durbin of IL says his questions to Kavanaugh on the topic stem from the judge's embrace of robust presidential power and the fact that he has been nominated by Trump.

In response to Booker's passionate appeal, Cornyn didn't pull any punches.

In a tense exchange Wednesday, the California Democrat asked Kavanaugh if he had ever spoken with anyone at the law firm Kasowitz, Benson & Torres about Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 US presidential election.

Kavanaugh repeatedly said the landmark case is settled law, but he left wiggle room to rule against abortion advocates once on the court.

When asked about the email Thursday, Kavanaugh said he recommended the edit to the op-ed because he didn't think the draft accurately reflect the view of all legal scholars.

"It's an important precedent of the Supreme Court that's been reaffirmed many times", Kavanaugh said.

The tone is different from Kavanaugh's remarks stressing how hard it is to overturn precedent like Roe during confirmation hearings, which opened for a third day Thursday with angry complaints and finger-pointing among senators over the unusual vetting process for the judge.

"Have you had a conversation with anyone at that firm about that investigation?"

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