Democrats outraged over Kavanaugh documents

The Trump administration has withheld more than 100,000 pages of records from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's time as a White House lawyer under President Bush ahead of Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing.

Posted: Sep 4, 2018 5:45 PM
Updated: Sep 4, 2018 6:15 PM

When Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor testified in 2009, confirmation seemed so certain that Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham famously predicted she only had to avoid a "complete meltdown."

As Judge Brett Kavanaugh takes the witness chair on Tuesday, the sense of inevitability in these partisan times is even greater. Republicans control the Senate, they are tightly managing the vetting process, and Democrats no longer have an opportunity for a filibuster to block a final vote

Yet the inevitability is strikingly paradoxical because the stakes for the nine-member Supreme Court are greater than they have been in decades. America's highest court rests on a precipice, with many rights -- those related to abortion and university affirmative action, to name just two -- teetering on a single vote.

The chance also exists that this deeply divided bench could end up resolving a dispute related to investigations involving President Donald Trump. Most significant, of course, is special counsel Robert Mueller's probe of Russia's intervention in the 2016 presidential campaign and any ties to Trump's campaign.

Kavanaugh, 53, would succeed Anthony Kennedy, who steadied the bench. A centrist conservative with a 30-year tenure, Kennedy fluctuated in his approach. So, the four liberals had a shot at persuading him to move left on social issues.

He cast the decisive vote to uphold abortion rights and affirmative action and, in 2015, to establish for the first time a constitutional right to gay marriage. Yet Kennedy remained with the right-wing bloc in many areas, including as he penned the 2010 Citizens United case rolling back campaign finance regulations for corporations and unions.

Based on his record over 12 years on a powerful Washington-based federal appeals court, Kavanaugh would not be so fluid. His vote would not be in play for the liberal side.

The result would be a high court less willing to protect individual rights; more willing to reject government regulations, such as those covering consumers and the environment; and ready for a hiatus on groundbreaking decisions favoring LGBT rights.

A Washington insider

A Yale law graduate with sterling credentials and deep Washington experience, Kavanaugh could have been nominated by any establishment Republican president, rather than only by the rebellious Trump. In fact, Kavanaugh's name did not appear on Trump's first or second list of high court candidates in 2016. It appeared only on Trump's third list, put out in November 2017, perhaps because of his Washington insider connections.

Kavanaugh remains closely identified with President George W. Bush, whom he served from 2001 to 2006. During his time with Bush, Kavanaugh assisted with appointments to powerful US appeals courts and three Supreme Court nominations: Chief Justice John Roberts; Associate Justice Samuel Alito; and former White House counsel Harriet Miers, whose nomination for a seat was withdrawn after Bush's fellow conservatives objected that her credentials were lacking.

Senate Republicans, taking advantage of their majority position to control the confirmation process, have blocked Democrats from seeing any of the Kavanaugh documents related to those high court nominations.

When Roberts served in the Ronald Reagan administration, he, coincidentally, also helped prepare a nominee, Sandra Day O'Connor, in 1981.

Roberts drafted answers to questions that senators were likely to ask. As he later wrote in a September 17, 1981, memo released when he was up for confirmation in 2005, "The approach was to avoid giving specific responses to any direct questions on legal issues likely to come before the court, but demonstrating in the response a firm command of the subject area and awareness of the relevant precedents and arguments."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 15229

Reported Deaths: 723
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds99925
Lauderdale73561
Madison72023
Scott65012
Neshoba63038
Jones59825
Forrest55338
DeSoto5337
Rankin4217
Leake42112
Holmes39728
Copiah3104
Jackson30513
Attala29216
Yazoo2734
Newton2714
Leflore25831
Harrison2577
Lincoln25628
Monroe25525
Lamar2355
Oktibbeha23512
Lowndes2119
Pearl River20931
Pike20211
Adams19615
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Wayne1771
Warren1719
Washington1687
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Bolivar16011
Jasper1574
Smith15011
Lee1496
Kemper14411
Clarke14318
Chickasaw13312
Lafayette1314
Coahoma1214
Carroll11711
Marion1159
Clay1124
Winston1121
Claiborne1112
Lawrence1021
Simpson1010
Yalobusha905
Hancock9011
Tate891
Grenada893
Wilkinson889
Itawamba877
Union835
Marshall833
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Sunflower813
Jefferson Davis772
Tippah7311
Panola703
Webster691
Calhoun644
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Amite601
Walthall550
Tunica543
Prentiss523
Perry503
Choctaw432
Jefferson421
Tishomingo320
Pontotoc323
Stone300
Franklin282
Tallahatchie271
Quitman260
George251
Alcorn171
Benton150
Greene121
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 17359

Reported Deaths: 618
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2191115
Jefferson1780102
Montgomery163238
Tuscaloosa73814
Marshall6879
Franklin5457
Lee54033
Shelby50319
Tallapoosa42364
Butler40217
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Walker3442
Elmore3398
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Baldwin2839
Dallas2603
Morgan2511
Etowah24811
DeKalb2433
Lowndes23812
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Autauga2164
Houston2094
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Pike1980
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Russell1670
Marengo1636
Lauderdale1612
Hale1598
Calhoun1543
Choctaw1518
Barbour1501
Wilcox1447
Clarke1422
Cullman1260
Randolph1257
Marion12111
St. Clair1181
Pickens1114
Dale1100
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Chilton1001
Limestone940
Greene944
Winston880
Covington771
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Henry742
Bibb721
Washington686
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Lawrence480
Geneva400
Conecuh391
Coosa381
Monroe372
Perry370
Cherokee373
Clay272
Lamar230
Fayette150
Cleburne141
Unassigned00
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