Kavanaugh: I always listen to both sides, senator.
Sure, that settles it.
Yes, RBG said no hints, no forecasts, no previews during her confirmation hearing.
But she didn't dodge legitimate questions about settled precedent by claiming they were "hypothetical."
Contra Kavanaugh's claim he can't offer any hints or forecasts, his fondness for bringing up Casey does just that.
Under Casey, states get to regulate abortion so long as they do not impose an "undue burden" on women's exercise of that right.
Guess how Kavanaugh will weaponize Casey?
How do we know this? He told us.
Kavanaugh called that a “radical extension of SCOTUS's abortion jurisprudence" & "abortion on demand."
“[T]he gov't has permissible interests in favoring fetal life, protecting the best interests of a minor, and refraining from facilitating abortion.”
Note also that the gov't slapped that policy together. A Trumpian whim. Yet Kavanaugh still would have favored it over the minor's rights.
If Kavanaugh's confirmed, states will have free rein to eliminate abortion access via increasingly draconian laws.
When I blocked her from an abortion, I specifically wrote that it was a shitty situation! I specifically looked at the length of the pregnancy! I specifically said the gov't couldn't block her from abortion entirely (yet)! I specifically said it must've been scary!
"The fact that you were a dissenter and *everyone else* [other courts] went the other way should give you cause if you care about precedent," replied @SenatorDurbin.
As a judge, "I'm not a Rep-Republican...."
Whitehouse asks Kavanaugh 3 times to just answer the question. Kavanaugh is being an ass.
K: So I went back--
W: I just want an answer.
K: I want you to understand it.
W: I'm capable of understanding it.
K: I want everyone to understand it.
K launches back into spiel about not answering questions.
W: You said this before.
Kavanaugh babbles along about protections 'til Whitehouse cuts him off: "That's why not being able to get a subpoena bollocks up the process."
Kavanaugh is using a tactic he's used throughout: He begins describing events in detail very slowly.
Whitehouse isn't having it.
"Your testimony is that you don't know anything about the role of the Federalist Society in your nomination?"
"What about Leonard Leo's role?"
"I don't know," he says. Then hastily adds, "I don't know specifics."
Kavanaugh knows he's lying.
"I'd be willing to guess there's substantial overlap between the funders of the Federalist Society and the Judicial Crisis Network."
Kavanaugh takes off on tangent about how his family's seen ads against him.
Kavanaugh says it's a question for Congress and searches for words about Congress.
He asks if organizations like this are cause for concern.
Kavanaugh: These organizations exist, let me tell you about how they exist in detail.
Kavanaugh: Daisies are my favorite flower.
Protester 2: We cannot go back!
Kavanaugh looks like he wants to hide under the table.
Then he just starts talking about the team of nine concept again.
Four protesters total during just Whitehouse's question period.
Yesterday, there were 70.
As of today, I'm more confused by that notion than ever.
Kavanaugh: I like a lot of Federalist Papers!
Proceeds to recite Federalist Papers for an hour.
CSPAN cut to Whitehouse leaning over to Klobuchar with a look that's somehow both mischievous and exasperated.
Independent counsel and special counsel are different, but his beef is w/the exec solely investigating president--that applies to both.
"Do you personally have a problem with your executive branch papers being released?"
"It's not my job, let me list all the people whose jobs it is, and I am not one of them."
"Do you think a good judge would grant a continuance to someone who received 42,000 documents the night before trial?"
"That's a decision for the committee, and I'm not familiar..."
Kavanaugh just keeps saying he didn't take a position on the constitutionality; it's just an idea!
Is your position that the president can ignore the law unless told to enforce it or that he can ignore it even if a court tells him to enforce it?"
That's not how it works.
The Take Care Clause of the Constitution directs that POTUS must "take care that the laws be faithfully executed."
Kavanaugh: No, no ... I just said that the single head of CFPB should be removable at will.
Klobuchar: And other agencies?
Kavanaugh begins listing agencies and citing an 80-year-old decision.
"I don't know what that's referring to. I've ruled for agencies dozens and dozens and dozens of times. I've ruled for both sides. Etc."
What would he replace it with?
Kavanaugh begins summarizing articles.
So Klobuchar questions him.
He just begins talking abut times he upheld contribution limits and naming relevant SCOTUS cases.
"I was following another judge's reasoning. It was very fact-specific." Then begins summarizing the case.
Follow-up: More waffling.
They're having a smarmfest.
Like most of the Rs, Cruz seems content to let Kavanaugh meander along verbally.
"Religious liberty is critical to 1A and the U.S. Constitution."
Walking a fine line, they're describing religious liberty as a + right people can exercise against others versus - right to be protected from others.
Because he's all about expanding executive power.
Reminder: Trump's banking on Kavanaugh's position re: indictment.
Kavanaugh snaps, "I've repeated myself 10 times."
That's on you, boo. We'd all like you to stop repeating yourself and answer questions.
He started by quoting protesters and saying, with chest puffed out, he'd never vote for Kavanaugh either if he thought they were right.
He's asked more legal questions than some of the lawyers who have questioned him so far.
Next: When did your name get added to the list of potential Supreme Court nominees?
"His litmus test was that the nominee would overturn Roe v. Wade." True? Waffling.
That's a far-right, anti-abortion code word also used by Scalia & co. in dissents.
That's like introducing your wife as you current wife.
Kavanaugh is just detailing all the points of his dissent that aren't hideously cruel.
"Eight justices currently sitting on this court haven't answered these questions before..."
If you took a shot every time he said it, you'd be in hospital.
He's not really even doing that, just wandering through the Federalist Papers.
Hitting him with Scalia's "one race" claim.
"Do you agree with Scalia that it is never permissible to consider race to try to mitigate past discrimination and achieve justice?"
"Well, it was just for a client..."
"You mention Scalia's one race theory frequently. Do you think that all efforts by racial groups to seek remedy for past discrimination are impermissible?"
Kavanaugh starts several times with an effort at listing precedent, saying it's not precedent, then just more pablum.
"There are a couple things that SCOTUS has cited in its case law..."
"I know the case law."
Booker: "I know, you've mentioned that with a lot of my colleagues. I want your opinions."
Booker is *shredding* him. "The distinction is, none of them had expressed personal opinions about these topics."
My question is, "do you still think a diverse student body is a compelling interest?"
Kennedy, who's among the Republicans who don't even want the committee to have the documents on Kavanaugh so they'll know what they're talking about.
"You're more likely to be struck by lightning than you are to find voter fraud in person."
"The people who enacted this law created a second class of voters, who didn't have an ID, who had to go fill out paperwork, have an atty, then cast a provisional ballot that may not have counted at all."
It's the jurist's "I have black friends" permeated with the total rejection of any possibility white men are the problem.
How can senators question him if they can't see his record?
So true, Senator Kennedy, so true.
Kavanaugh's again just listing information about the progression of audio availability at his court.
He uses "team of nine" for the 200th time.
BK details SCOTUS test on overruling.
"No, you're on a case & you say I've looked at this & this is not originalism & what the public thought."
Kavanaugh resumes recitation.
"If I knew Alex Kozinski was a shitbag, so did Brett Kavanaugh. Our Supreme Court nominee not only helped enable one of the judiciary's worst harassers, but just lied to Congress under oath."
That's why asbestos is still legal in the United States even though we've known it causes cancer since the 1970s at least.
That's the way they want it.
THIS IS SO GOOD.
"Have you discussed the Mueller investigation with anyone?"
"With other judges"
"What about with Cassowitz, Benson, and Torrez?"
"Have you had a conversation with anyone about this law firm about the investigation."
"Is there a person?"
"You don't need to know a name, just the firm"
"I don't know everyone there"
"You're saying you don't rememberwhen you've testified before this committee for eight hours about all sorts of things you remember?"
"I'm just trying to think if I know anyone at that law firm." After having demanded repetition of the name.
Mike Lee goes NUTS and interrupts: "There are a lot of law firms! People belong to all sorts of firms!"
"Have you have a conversation with anyone about Bob Mueller or his investigation?"
"Well, I worked with Bob Mueller..."
"So, Bob Mueller?"
He's literally repeating questions to stall for time.
"I asked the question just a minute ago, I'm surprised you forgot."
This leaves @SenKamalaHarris the option to come up with a list for round two of questioning.
"Yes, Senator, we did have a meeting, and it was..."
Are. You. Serious?
He struggles and struggles.
"You used that term multiple times in your WSJ oped that @maziehirono mentioned."
"First, SCOTUS affirmed the decision...second, it was . . ."
"That's not what I asked you."
"But you raised the case! So I can totally go off on this tangent for ages describing every detail from memory!"
"I'd have to see it. I don't know what I meant by it at the time. What I do know is..."
"I wrote that 20 years ago..."
"The year you wrote that there was a cover story on the racial spoils system [explaining all of this]."
That's the ruling that said women have reproductive rights insofar as the use of contraceptions for the first time.
He's not answering. Obviously.
He just refers to precedent and talks about how persuasive various writings were. Even Scalia and Alito said that Griswold was correctly decided.
"Oh, okay, if Scalia and Alito said it, I agree."
"This gets to .... I'm following the 8 current justices in not answering anything pertaining to something that is before or could b before SCOTUS....Kagan said no thumbs up, no thumbs down."
"I have not articulated a position & there's nominee precedent I feel obligated to follow." ]
Kavanaugh is beyond tiresome. "But there's a series of steps..." On repeat.
"The Court is not prohibited from overruling precedent, no matter what the steps are."
Kavanaugh begins describing Korematsu.
"You'd agree there's no statute of limitations?"
"What I would say is there is a series of conditions..." Again.
Kavanaugh begins describing the VRA.
She has been so, so good.
He's got to opine about the emails that Kavanaugh was asked abt.
There's a reason Kavanaugh doesn't have the emails he was asked about because they're "committee confidential."
Now Tom's asking a question about whose hugs are better, Margaret's or Eliza's.
I'm too angry.
A U.S. senator is asking about Kavanaugh's first date with his wife in re 9/11.
"I have some wrap-up comments."
Tomorrow's 20-minute rounds starting at 9:30 am.
Join me then.