Senators began questioning Judge Brett Kavanaugh on Wednesday in confirmation hearings to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was considered the swing vote on key issues including abortion, same-sex marriage, affirmative action and campaign finance reform. 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. John Cornyn of Texas to accuse Booker of "conduct unbecoming of a senator".
Booker received support from his colleagues, including Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senator Dick Durbin and Senator Richard Blumenthal, who told Cornyn: "Apply the rule, bring the charges".
Klobuchar noted that Kavanaugh's explanation in his dissent that the court could distinguish between a "major" and "minor" question with respect to deferring to an expert agency when there was ambiguity in the law would be a "you-know-it-when-you-see-it" standard was the reason that the other judges didn't agree with Kavanaugh. "In that article, you said that a president should not be subject to investigations while in office".
There had been intense speculation among senators that Democrats would invoke the two-hour rule on Thursday, forcing McConnell to either adjourn the Senate or let the Kavanaugh hearing be shut down. "I openly invite and accept the consequences of my team releasing that email right now", Booker said.
Kavanaugh at the time was involved in the judicial confirmation process for the White House, and on Wednesday Leahy zeroed in on testimony Kavanaugh later gave during his confirmation to a lower court judgeship. Mazie Hirono took Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh to task about his views on Native Hawaiians, criticizing him for writing in 1999 that he didn't believe the group was indigenous because they traveled to the islands from deeper in Polynesia. "It's an important part of the constitutional structure", Kavanaugh said.
Booker just released a batch of emails between Kavanaugh and other officials that date back to his early days in George W. Bush's administration as an associate of the White House Counsel at the time, Alberto Gonzales.
Meanwhile it was shown, in an email obtained by The Associated Press, that Kavanaugh had taken a different tone on a 2003 abortion case than he had during Wednesday's hearing when he stressed how hard it is to overturn precedents like Roe.
If confirmed, the conservative appeals court judge would be expected to tilt the court's balance to the right. It stated that "it is widely accepted by legal scholars across the board that Roe v. Wade and its progeny are the settled law of the land".
Kavanaugh said maintaining judicial independence "requires me to avoid commenting on current events".
The third day of the confirmation hearing continues Thursday at 9:30 a.m.
Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee each had 30 minutes to ask Kavanaugh questions. More than 140 people have been arrested for protesting the Kavanaugh hearing on Capitol Hill over the first two days of hearings.
Other communications show Kavanaugh questioning the "deliberate indifference standard" in racial profiling and the role of the president in Solicitor General performance.
"Have you had any conversation about Robert Mueller or his investigation with anyone at that firm?"
Here's a look at what the judge had to say on some of the most controversial issues as the day went on.
Kavanaugh had served as Bush's staff secretary and his work in the White House has figured in the hearing.
The hearing's focus on Wednesday on presidential power came amid a widening probe by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Russian meddling in the 2016 USA election and turmoil within the White House, clouding the presidency of Trump, who is working to get more conservative judges appointed to the federal courts.