Senate concludes Kavanaugh hearing; confirmation likely

Following Sen. Cory Booker's (D-NJ) release of documents on Judge Brett Kavanaugh at the start of confirmation hearings for the SCOTUS nominee, Sen.

Booker tweeted that the entire nominating process was a "sham", and claimed he was running the risk of being expelled from the Senate for breaking its rules by posting the Bush-era documents, which included Kavanaugh's thoughts on racial profiling in the wake of the September 11 terror attacks and his assessment of the Supreme Court's views on Roe v. Wade.

Kavanaugh said no suspicions had been raised by the information he received from the Republican operative because most of what was discussed was commonly shared between the White House and Senate staff members.

REUTERS/Alex WroblewskiProtesters are removed during the fourth day of Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 7, 2018.

For the nomination to fail, several Republicans would have to flip because the GOP holds a 51-49 edge in the Senate.

Susan Collins of ME, who as a pro-choice Republican is seen as a possible defector in the confirmation effort, said on Friday she had not yet made up her mind.

That means Pence's constitutionally allotted power to break Senate ties might be used in an unprecedented and potent way, to install Kavanaugh in the seat vacated by retiring justice Anthony M Kennedy, thereby tilting the court to the right. The Supreme Court could weigh in on a number of potential scenarios that could play out in the Russian Federation probe or the obstruction of justice case involving Trump in the near term. She implored senators at Friday's hearing to consider her story as they decide whether Kavanaugh is the person they want deciding gun control cases on the Supreme Court. "I'm confident he'll be confirmed", McConnell told reporters in Louisville, Ky., adding that he believes Kavanaugh did a "spectacular job" during his hearing before the Judiciary Committee last week.

In addition to the special counsel, Kavanaugh's views on executive authority were a constant focus throughout the hearings.

"When he (Nicholas) fell over, I fell over with him", she said.

Lachance said Kavanaugh's record on environmental protections is worrisome.

Kavanaugh refused to answer questions about Trump or commit to stepping aside from any case about the Russian Federation investigation that might come to the Supreme Court.

Hassan said Kavanaugh has promoted a judicial philosophy that diminishes the rights of women and people of color, favors corporations over people, and promotes a right-wing ideology.

Graham pressed the issue, and Kavanaugh responded that the Supreme Court applied the liberty clause in its decisions regarding abortion: "The Supreme Court has found it under the liberty clause but you're right".

He was threatened with penalties last week, including possible expulsion from the Senate for breaking rules and questioning Kavanaugh about emails the nominee had written that had not been properly released. President Trump has said he would select a Supreme Court nominee - a lifetime appointment - who would vote to overturn Roe vs. Wade.

Booker released confidential White House emails pertaining to Kavanaugh.

In a summary of the argument presented by the pro-life Catholic group Priests for Life in the case Priests for Life v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services which was brought over the HHS contraception mandate, Kavanaugh stated that the priests "said filling out the form would make them complicit in the provision of the abortion-inducing drugs that they were, as a religious matter, objecting to".

  • Rogelio Becker