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Black caucus urges senators to reject Kavanaugh

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Members of the Congressional Black Caucus are urging senators to reject the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to serve on the Supreme Court.
    
Democratic Rep. Cedric Richmond of Louisiana, the group's chairman, says Kavanaugh would weaken protections under the Voting Rights Act. He cited his ruling in a South Carolina case upholding the state's new voter ID law.
    
Kavanaugh's defenders say his ruling resolved the case, as the Justice Department under President Barack Obama chose not to appeal.
    
House members don't get to vote on Kavanaugh, but Richmond plans to testify about Kavanaugh as an outside witness on Friday, the final day of confirmation hearings.
    
Democratic Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey says he's going to make public an email from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, even if it puts him at risk of being expelled from the Senate.
    
Booker says he will violate a committee rule and release an email from Kavanaugh on the subject of racial profiling. The Judiciary Committee is now holding that email on a confidential basis.
    
Calling it an act of civil disobedience, Booker says he wants to expose that some of the emails being held back "have nothing to do with national security."
    
Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas called Booker's action "irresponsible and conduct unbecoming a senator."
    
He read a rule contemplating expulsion of senators for violating Senate confidentiality rules. Several Democrats said in response, "bring it on."
    
The Associated Press has obtained an email in which Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh disputes that the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling on abortion access is settled law.
    
Kavanaugh's 2003 comments came while reviewing an op-ed in support of two judicial nominees at the George W. Bush White House.
    
Here's what Kavanaugh wrote: "I am not sure that all legal scholars refer to Roe as the settled law of the land at the Supreme Court level since Court can always overrule its precedent, and three current Justices on the Court would do so."
    
Kavanaugh was referring to justices at that time - meaning in 2003. The email was sent to a Republican Senate aide. The document is partially black out.
    
Kavanaugh has taken a different tone during his confirmation hearings, stressing how difficult it is to overturn a precedent such as Roe.
    
Senators are getting into their final round of questioning of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, and so far the appeals court judge appears to have avoided any major missteps in his confirmation hearings.
    
Kavanaugh also doesn't seem to have changed many minds on the GOP-run Senate Judiciary Committee. President Donald Trump says he's pleased with his nominee's performance.
    
Kavanaugh underwent a 12-hour session of questioning that ended late Wednesday. The judge left unanswered questions over how he would handle investigations of the executive branch and whether he would step aside if cases involving Trump under special counsel Robert Mueller's probe end up at the court.
    
Democrats have been pressing Kavanaugh for his views on abortion rights, gun control and other issues. Protesters have repeatedly interrupted the proceedings

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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