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What You Need to Know From Day 2 of Kavanaugh Hearing

He calls Roe v. Wade 'important precedent'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 5, 2018 4:32 PM CDT
Kavanaugh Doesn't 'Show His Hand' on Roe v. Wade
Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee for the second day of his confirmation hearing, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – After the "chaotic" first day of Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination hearing, Wednesday saw the 53-year-old appellate judge bombarded with questions from senators. The AP describes him as "treading carefully," and highlights some of the biggest issues raised during the second day of the hearing. Kavanaugh "didn't show his hand" when questioned about abortion rights, for example, though he did call Roe v. Wade "important precedent" that has "been reaffirmed many times over the past 45 years." (The AP also notes that Sen. Dianne Feinstein "vastly overstated" the number of deaths from illegal abortions in the decades before Roe v. Wade; it has a fact-check here.) More from the hearing, which is expected to extend into the late evening hours of Wednesday:

  • Kavanaugh said it was like a "gut punch" to learn that multiple women had accused one of his mentors, Judge Alex Kozinski, of sexual misconduct, and that it highlights the broader need for a better system of reporting workplace harassment; he said he was not aware of the allegations until they were made public. Fox News has more.

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  • The New York Times, which offers live updates on the hearing, highlights questions from Sen. Patrick Leahy bringing up two Bush-era scandals. Kavanaugh worked as an associate White House counsel in the Bush administration, and Leahy suggested he may have been aware of the Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping program as well as the infiltration of Democrats' confidential internal files regarding Bush's judicial nominees, both of which he has denied knowing about. More details at the Times, which calls the exchange "tantalizing but incomplete."
  • The Washington Post also has live updates; among its highlights: President Trump weighed in on the confirmation hearing, saying Kavanaugh has an "outstanding intellect." "I have watched his remarks, I have watched his performance, I’ve watched his statements, and honestly, they’ve been totally brilliant," Trump told reporters Wednesday. "I think the other side is grasping at straws."
  • ABC News offers five key questions Kavanaugh was asked Wednesday and his responses to each one. Among those: Can a president pardon himself? Kavanaugh declined to answer, saying it was a hypothetical question.
  • Kavanaugh cited the "Ginsburg rule" when declining to answer hypothetical questions; Fox News explains what that is.
  • Protesters have again interrupted the hearing; the AP has more on the protests here.
  • Also Wednesday, Jon Kyl was sworn in to fill the late John McCain's Senate seat through the end of the year; he will have the opportunity to weigh in on Kavanaugh's confirmation, the AP notes.
  • Speaking of votes, Susan Collins is a key swing vote, and the Intercept reports that activists have raised more than $385,000 so far that will be given to the campaign fund of a future opponent running against the Republican senator should she vote for Kavanaugh's confirmation. If she votes no, the pledges will be canceled.
Kavanaugh was accused of ignoring a Parkland parent's attempt at a handshake during Tuesday's hearing. (Read more Brett Kavanaugh stories.)

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