Democrats make final attempt to block Kavanaugh
WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats mounted a last, ferocious attempt Thursday to paint Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as a foe of abortion rights and a likely defender of President Donald Trump if he makes it to the high court.
But their chances of blocking Trump’s nominee seemed to fade away by the end of a second marathon day of testimony in his confirmation hearing.
Questioning of the 53-year-old appellate judge wound down without him revealing much about his judicial stances or making any serious mistakes that might jeopardize his confirmation. In what almost seemed like a celebration, Kavanaugh’s two daughters returned to the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing room for the final hours of testimony, accompanied by teammates on Catholic school basketball teams their father has coached.
The hearing pivoted during the day to Roe v. Wade, the high court’s landmark abortion case. The Democrats’ best hope of stopping Kavanaugh — who could swing the court further to the right for decades — would be branding him as a justice who might vote to overturn the ruling, attracting the votes of two Republican senators who support abortion rights.
A newly disclosed email suggested he once indicated the abortion case was not settled law, though Kavanaugh denied in the hearing that he had been expressing his personal views on the issue.
Democrats hammered at his ability to separate himself from Trump and special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Throughout his testimony, Kavanaugh has repeatedly insisted he fully embraces the importance of judicial independence.