Senate concludes Kavanaugh hearing; confirmation likely


After two marathon days questioning Brett Kavanaugh, senators were winding up his Supreme Court confirmation hearing Friday with legal experts making their cases for and against the judge who is likely to push the high court further to the right.

"Count me in", Durbin said. Dean was brought in by Democrats to oppose Kavanaugh, based on concerns over his broad views on executive privilege and presidential immunity. White House spokesman Raj Shah said in a statement that Leahy's assertion shows "just how desperate he is to smear Judge Kavanaugh's stellar reputation".

"The fundamental problem in this case is that these DOT regulations use a lot of legalisms and disguises to mask what is a naked racial set-aside", Kavanaugh wrote in 2001, adding that he expected the court's conservative justices to "realize as much in short order and rule accordingly". Earlier this week, he clarified testimony from his 2004 confirmation hearing involving a controversial judge he helped shepherd through the nomination process.

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"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, referring to justices at the time, in an email to a Republican Senate aide.

Set to testify on Friday in opposition to Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court is John Dean, a convicted felon and disbarred lawyer who gained fame for flipping on former President Richard Nixon during Watergate. Kavanaugh said he didn't talk to anyone at the firm about that.

As more sealed documents come into the public eye, details about Kavanaugh's work under the Bush administration are coming to the forefront.

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"I never told him that I got this from the Democrats". He's smart. Be careful what you wish for. Miranda said he was never charged in the matter and that he never considered his action to be "hacking", as Leahy has described it. There's little we know now about Kavanaugh that we didn't at the start of the week. With his questioning over, he seemed on his way to becoming the court's 114th justice. During both hearings, Kavanaugh said he learned about Miranda's action only from news reports, and Leahy did not have access to Kavanaugh's emails. In particular, Booker sought the release of a memo on racial profiling, one of thousands received by the committee, but labeled "Committee Confidential", which senators could review but not make public.

Separately, an email written to Kavanaugh by a then-staffer to the Republican leadership, Barbara Ledeen, had the subject line "spying".

Jackson Corbin, a 13-year-old afflicted with Noonan Syndrome, begged senators not to "destroy protections for pre-existing conditions" that would leave him and others like him "without care or without the ability to afford our care - all because of who we are".

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Kavanaugh forwarded the message to his boss, Counsel Alberto Gonzales, and others, writing, "interesting Ledeen email ..." Harris, a former prosecutor, did not say during the almost eight-minute exchange why she was asking the question, but she seemed to surprise Kavanaugh.