Booker to headline Iowa Democratic banquet in October

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh appeared to refer to contraceptives as

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh appeared to refer to contraceptives as"abortion-inducing drugs at his Senate hearing

In a few moments, we'll hear a response to that from Republican Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri.

NINA TOTENBERG, BYLINE: Hi, Ari.

Trump is a different kind of president, they say, and the Senate a changed institution after President Barack Obama's pick for the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland, was denied a hearing or vote.

Democrats also hammered at Kavanaugh's ability to separate himself from Trump and special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

PATRICK LEAHY: Trump claims he has an absolute right to pardon himself.

Among the speakers at the press conference was Marcus Sibley, communications director for the state conference of the NAACP, who called Kavanaugh a "danagerous ideologe", Sibley said the NAACP had opposed Kavanaugh when he was fisrt appointed as a federal judge. It's a question that I have not written about. When the authors of the Constitution created the Judicial Branch and the concept of judicial review, they envisioned justices identical to Judge Kavanaugh to be a part of the highest court in the land. "If you torpedo Kavanaugh, you'll likely end up with someone worse - less brilliant, less constitutionally knowledgeable, less studious, less open-minded, less good for America".

Greg Moore, the New Hampshire Director of Americans for Prosperity, said Kavanaugh was confirmed to the federal bench with bipartisan support and accused the senators of "openly playing politics with opposition to a well-qualified candidate".

The president's first appointee to the high court, Neil Gorsuch, past year told senators Trump's remarks on the judiciary were "disheartening" and "demoralizing".

Kavanaugh maintained that he views Roe v. Wade, which legalized a woman's right to obtain an abortion, as an "important precedent" during his recent Senate hearing, including when he was asked directly about the 2003 email.

Pope Summons Bishops For Sexual Abuse Summit
A shocking Pennsylvania grand jury report detailed over 1,000 instances of sexual abuse by 300 priests and cover-ups by bishops . Pope Francis will meet with US cardinals and bishops Thursday to discuss the sex abuse scandal , according to the Vatican .

The hearing pivoted during the day to Roe v. Wade, the high court's landmark abortion case. "We believe an indictment should not be pursued while the President is in Office", Kavanaugh wrote.

In any other time period, his temperament, patience, decency, and impartibility would carry Kavanaugh to a 95 plus confirmation vote. "As Justice Kagan put it, you can't as a nominee in this seat give a thumbs up or thumbs down".

SHAPIRO: Nina, every day this week you have come on this program and talked about fights over documents with Democrats demanding more.

Let's unpack that statement: Regulation "outside the bounds of what the laws passed by Congress have said" is contrary to a basic tenet of Republican and conservative principles about small government and limited governmental.

Independents aren't very happy with either party, with 28% who say they approve of how both the Democrats and the Republicans are handling the situation. Booker had sought release late Wednesday, after questioning Kavanaugh on race and drawing rebuke from his colleagues for disclosing the confidential documents. One of the documents, for instance, related to abortion.

"Judge Kavanaugh stated two facts: not all legal scholars agree that Roe is settled law and three judges on the Court at the time were anti-Roe", Collins spokeswoman Annie Clark said.

And the Democrats seemed to think that contradicted his testimony. "So I think it's been not helpful to any cause that I can see".

William Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia and Anthony Kennedy may be Kavanaugh's judicial heroes, but the nominee invoked Justice Elena Kagan, a nominee of President Barack Obama, more than any of them at the hearing.

Sens. Joe Donnelly in IN or Claire McCaskill in Missouri may benefit from a court battle that energizes the Democratic base. And he spoke of the number of women he's hired as law clerks while on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals - 25, of whom 21 have gone on to become clerks on the Supreme Court, Kavanaugh said - and he promised that, if confirmed, he'd continue his practice of hiring promising female lawyers to be his clerks. He only needs 51 votes, which Republicans can provide.

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