Judge Brett Kavanaugh listens during his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing.
He joins a growing list of Democrats opposing Kavanaugh, including Sens.
The emails made public on Thursday dated from Kavanaugh's service in the White House under Republican President George W. Bush more than a decade ago. The left has finally awakened to what its members see as a horrifying reality: they are losing control for perhaps a generation or more of the Supreme Court, their favorite vehicle for expanding the administrative state.
Senators on the Judiciary Committee are likely to vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation on September 20 with a vote by the full Senate the following week. He added that "under Judge Kavanaugh's recommendation, if a president shot someone in cold blood on Fifth Avenue, that president could not be prosecuted while in office".
TOTENBERG: Well, I thought he emphasized the importance of the Supreme Court's past decisions a little more than Neil Gorsuch did at his confirmation hearing a year ago.
With the midterms less than two months away, Kavanaugh's nomination carries political risks for both parties as they potentially alienate the large swath of independent voters who have big say in elections.
Among those testifying were two representatives of the American Bar Association, the leading US professional group for lawyers, who said a panel that rates judicial nominees gave Kavanaugh a "well qualified" rating, the highest possible. Kavanaugh, like previous nominees, declined to answer hypothetical questions that might come before him as a justice.
"In this country, no one, not even the president, is above the law". And Kavanaugh said essentially to the author that that was an overstatement.
"Sometimes you just have to make a stand", said Brian Fallon, a former top adviser to Hillary Clinton and the Senate's top Democrat, New York's Chuck Schumer. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., contended the system the Republican majority was using to categorize documents as committee confidential was no transparent and unfair. John Cornyn of Texas, bemoaned the "mob rule" at the hearings.
The disruptions throughout the hearing rankled senators on the Judiciary Committee.
Chairman Grassley has released all requested documents. Kamala Harris of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey took turns aggressively questioning Kavanaugh in what many saw as a prelude to presidential primary campaigns. Booker said he was willing to face possible punishment under Senate rules by releasing the documents himself, although Republicans said they had already agreed to release them.
Sens. Joe Donnelly in IN or Claire McCaskill in Missouri may benefit from a court battle that energizes the Democratic base.
Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, went further than Schumer, writing that Kavanaugh gave "untruthful testimony, under oath and on the record".
"When Justice Kennedy announced his retirement, I urged the president to appoint a consensus nominee who could earn broad bipartisan support in the Senate and the confidence of the American people", Bennet said July 9.
Thursday is expected to be the last round of questioning for the nominee, with witness testimony scheduled for Friday.