Trump’s Supreme Court pick unphased by hyper partisan Senate committee questioning
| Dan Diamond, Politico — In an intense round of questioning, Senate Judiciary Committee members grilled Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on his views.
Among the issues that Democrats what to ask about: Kavanaugh’s rulings on abortion and his views on legal challenges to the Affordable Care Act, particularly given developments in a much-watched ACA challenge Wednesday.
Senate Democrats continue to seize on abortion ruling fears. Sens. Patty Murray, Tammy Duckworth, and Tina Smith were scheduled to hold an 11 a.m. press conference with women who will share stories of lacking access to safe, legal abortion.
Here’s the memo that Planned Parenthood is sharing with its supporters.
What We’re Learning About Brett Kavanaugh’s Healthcare Views
— The nominee predictably avoided sensitive territory on Obamacare and abortion, even as protesters regularly interrupted the hearing to warn that Kavanaugh — if confirmed — could be a key vote in rolling back access to health care.
— He dodged questions about the ACA’s legality. Kavanaugh sidestepped a question on whether he would uphold Obamacare’s provisions protecting pre-existing conditions, one of the most popular parts of the contentious health care law.
Kavanaugh cited what he referred to as “nominee precedent” for not answering questions from senators on how he would rule on cases that might come before the Supreme Court.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse pressed him several times to repeat at the hearing what the senator said the judge had told him privately — that he could not commit to upholding the pre-existing conditions protection.
— He sidestepped questions on abortion, too. Kavanaugh refused repeatedly to say how he would rule on abortion, or whether he would uphold the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling at the center of the nation’s long and fierce political fight over reproductive rights.
His statements on Wednesday likely won’t raise any alarm with the two Republican senators who favor abortion rights, Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, though they aggravated Democrats who failed to pin down his views on abortion or Obamacare. More for Pros.
… Kavanaugh also defended his handling of an abortion case involving an undocumented teen in federal custody, arguing that Supreme Court precedent prevented him from ordering the government to allow her to obtain an abortion. Read more at Politico.