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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

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 145636

Reported Deaths: 3745
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto973199
Hinds9668197
Harrison6898109
Jackson6178119
Rankin5319100
Lee487695
Madison4666106
Forrest371386
Jones346788
Lauderdale3355144
Lafayette317549
Washington3122107
Lamar283449
Oktibbeha240861
Bolivar240184
Lowndes229763
Neshoba2177115
Panola215849
Marshall209650
Leflore201490
Pontotoc196128
Monroe191477
Sunflower190555
Lincoln186865
Warren172657
Tate165451
Union163925
Pike160658
Copiah159540
Yazoo152039
Scott150729
Coahoma148743
Itawamba148234
Pearl River146567
Alcorn146327
Simpson145153
Prentiss141230
Adams137949
Grenada137745
Leake131943
Holmes126561
Tippah123030
George122324
Covington119737
Winston119124
Wayne116223
Hancock115939
Marion111646
Attala109833
Tishomingo106542
Chickasaw104132
Newton103629
Tallahatchie96327
Clarke88853
Clay87127
Jasper81222
Walthall75328
Stone73114
Calhoun72913
Montgomery72125
Carroll70614
Lawrence70314
Yalobusha70027
Noxubee69717
Smith69616
Perry65426
Tunica59619
Greene58422
Claiborne57616
Jefferson Davis55017
Humphreys52918
Amite51814
Benton48717
Quitman4816
Webster42114
Kemper41918
Wilkinson38722
Jefferson34211
Franklin3265
Choctaw3117
Sharkey30717
Issaquena1124
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 239318

Reported Deaths: 3532
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson31391491
Mobile19562361
Tuscaloosa12813154
Madison12741146
Montgomery12198235
Shelby1000577
Baldwin847398
Lee764466
Morgan634348
Calhoun6112115
Marshall607954
Etowah606565
Houston517038
DeKalb474736
Cullman428038
Limestone413744
St. Clair409055
Elmore400762
Lauderdale393653
Walker3588108
Talladega343453
Jackson307624
Colbert301941
Blount285539
Autauga268641
Franklin247833
Coffee239715
Dale230354
Dallas224531
Russell22053
Chilton219638
Covington216833
Escambia197431
Chambers173749
Tallapoosa173391
Pike157514
Clarke156319
Marion136535
Winston129923
Lawrence124836
Geneva12028
Pickens119418
Marengo119124
Barbour117010
Bibb116217
Butler114441
Randolph100921
Cherokee100824
Hale94531
Clay90223
Washington90219
Fayette87316
Henry8496
Lowndes79129
Monroe78111
Cleburne75714
Macon72321
Crenshaw70730
Bullock69119
Conecuh68314
Perry6756
Lamar6508
Wilcox63118
Sumter57122
Choctaw41913
Greene41418
Coosa3374
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