Showing posts with label Nominee. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nominee. Show all posts

October 2, 2018

Kavanaugh's Testimony is starting to Show More and More Holes







Chuck Todd, Mark Murray and Carrie Dann report on NBC


 Two reports last night — from NBC News and the New York Times — appear to contradict some of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee from last week.
On when Kavanaugh first learned about Deborah Ramirez’s allegations against him
SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: When did you first hear of Ms. Ramirez’s allegations against you?
KAVANAUGH: In the last — in the period since then, the New Yorker story [published on Sept. 23].
But NBC News's Heidi Przbyla and Leigh Ann Caldwell write that Kavanaugh and his team were trying to refute Ramirez’s allegations BEFORE they became public.
“The texts between Berchem and Karen Yarasavage, both friends of Kavanaugh, suggest that the nominee was personally talking with former classmates about Ramirez’s story in advance of the New Yorker article that made her allegation public. In one message, Yarasavage said Kavanaugh asked her to go on the record in his defense. Two other messages show communication between Kavanaugh's team and former classmates in advance of the story.”
More: “In a series of texts before the publication of the New Yorker story, Yarasavage wrote that she had been in contact with ‘Brett's guy,’ and also with ‘Brett,’ who wanted her to go on the record to refute Ramirez. According to Berchem, Yarasavage also told her friend that she turned over a copy of the wedding party photo to Kavanaugh, writing in a text: ‘I had to send it to Brett’s team too.’”
On whether Kavanaugh interacted with Ramirez at a 1997 wedding
SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: Did you interact with Ms. Ramirez at the wedding?
KAVANAUGH: I'm sure — I'm sure I saw her because it wasn't a huge wedding. And at any wedding, you would see the people that you went to school with. But I don't have a specific recollection.
From Przbyla and Caldwell: “Berchem's texts with Yarasavage shed light on Kavanaugh’s personal contact with friends, including that he obtained a copy of a photograph of a small group of friends from Yale at a 1997 wedding in order to show himself smiling alongside Ramirez 10 years after they graduated. Both were in the wedding party: Kavanaugh was a groomsman and Ramirez a bridesmaid at the wedding. On Sept. 22nd, Yarasavage texted Berchem that she had shared the photo with ‘Brett’s team.’” On Kavanaugh’s drinking alcohol during his days at Yale
SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: The quote that jumped out at me was, “Brett was a sloppy drunk, and I know because I drank with him.” There’s also, in a separate setting…
KAVANAUGH: I don’t think that — I don’t — I do not think that’s a fair characterization, and Chris Dudley’s quoted in that [Washington Post] article, and I would refer you to what Chris Dudley said. I spent more time with Chris Dudley in college than just about anyone, and I would refer you to what he said.
But the New York Times reports on a 1985 police report (which NBC News has not verified) suggesting that Kavanaugh was involved in a bar fight — with Chris Dudley at his side.
“The incident, which occurred in September 1985 during Mr. Kavanaugh’s junior year, resulted in Mr. Kavanaugh and four other men being questioned by the New Haven Police Department. Mr. Kavanaugh was not arrested, but the police report stated that a 21-year-old man accused Mr. Kavanaugh of throwing ice on him ‘for some unknown reason.’ A witness to the fight said that Chris Dudley, a Yale basketball player who is friends with Mr. Kavanaugh, then threw a glass that hit the man in the ear, according to the police report.”
More from the Times: “The outlines of the incident were first referred to in a statement issued on Sunday by Chad Ludington, one of Judge Kavanaugh’s college classmates and a member of the Yale basketball team. ‘On one of the last occasions I purposely socialized with Brett, I witnessed him respond to a semi-hostile remark, not by defusing the situation, but by throwing his beer in the man’s face,’ Mr. Ludington said in the statement. Mr. Ludington, a professor at North Carolina State University, said he came forward because he believed Judge Kavanaugh had mischaracterized the extent of his drinking at Yale.”
(White House press secretary Sarah Sanders responded to the New York Times story, saying: “Democrats desperately attack Judge Kavanaugh for throwing ice during college.”)
And you can now add these examples to other problematic statements Kavanaugh has made — about “Devil’s Triangle,” “Boofed” and that Georgetown Prep boys didn’t mingle with Holton-Arms girls.

DOES THE PITCHED BATTLE OVER KAVANAUGH HELP THE GOP IN RED STATES?

While it’s too early to make this conclusion, it’s worth asking whether the fight over Kavanaugh helps out Republicans in red states. We’ve seen the polls — from Quinnipiac and CBS — showing that more Americans/voters oppose Kavanaugh’s confirmation than support it. But that’s nationally. How about in North Dakota? Or Indiana? Or Missouri?

MINNESOTA DEMS SAY THEIR INVESTIGATION CAN'T 'SUBSTANTIATE' ABUSE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST KEITH ELLISON

Minnesota's state Democratic Party, the Minnesota DFL, issued a statement saying its outside investigation wasn't able to "substantiate" accusations of physical abuse against Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., by an ex-girlfriend. Ellison, who failed in his 2017 bid to become DNC chairman, is currently running for state attorney general in Minnesota.
"The investigation report, which was released today without our knowledge by someone outside of our organization, was unable to substantiate the claim of physical abuse made by Ms. Monahan," DFL Chair Ken Martin said of the allegations levied by Karen Monahan. Martin also said the state party was handing its finding over to law enforcement. "For the purpose of objectivity and getting all of the facts regarding these allegations, we have decided to forward the information in the investigation to local authorities in order to let them review the contents and determine whether further investigation is warranted," he said.
Ellison's Republican opponent, Doug Wardlow, released a statement calling the investigation a "sham." "As predicted, the sham 'investigation' led by the DFL party attorney's legal partner has concluded in favor of the party's Attorney General candidate. But the publicly available evidence contradicts that conclusion," Wardlow said.

September 29, 2018

Thank To Sen Jeff Flake White House Orders An FBI Investigation to Find Facts About Judge Kavanaugh




Trump's statements appear to have backed off a bit from the defiant attack on Democrats for a "search and destroy strategy" against the nominee that he tweeted Thursday night.

Speaking to reporters at the White House before a meeting with Chile's President Sebastián Piñera, Trump said that undecided senators must do what makes them "comfortable" regarding his nomination, adding that he had "no message whatsoever" for the senators who now face a vote to confirm Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court Justice.

"They have to do what they think is right," he said. "There is no message whatsoever. They have to do what they think is right. They have to be comfortable with themselves and I’m sure that’s what they want."
The Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday voted to advance Kavanaugh's nomination, but only after Republican Sen. Jeff Flake called for a one-week delay on a final vote to allow the FBI to investigate the sexual misconduct allegations.

 GOP Sem Jeff Flake, with the weight of the Senate on his shoulders



Republican Sen. Jeff Flake after speaking during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Sept. 28, 2018.
Flake said he would oppose moving forward with Kavanaugh's nomination in the full Senate if Republicans try to bring it up before then.
Asked about the delay, Trump said, "I’m going to let the Senate handle that."
"They’ll make their decisions," he added. "They’ve been doing a good job and very professional. I’m just hearing a little bit about it because I’ve been with the president of Chile and we're talking about some very important subjects. I’m sure it will all be very good."

"I guess the vote was a positive vote but there seems to be a delay. I’ll learn more about it as the day goes on. I just heard about it because we were together."
Look at Senator (R) Jeff Flake. His face shows all the turmoil he is going through and his disagreement at all the political wrangling. Getting an FBI investigation should be the least to ask about of an appointment of this magnitude when there is a credible testimony from a credible witness about Kavanaugh's behavior and maybe lying under oath.
Thanks to Se. Flake, there will be an FBI investigation and this locomotive will be delayed one more week or so until the FBI is done.

September 20, 2018

Fmer Schoolmate of Kavanugh's Accuser Wrote on FB She Recalls Of Hearing About The Assault

WASHINGTON — NBC
A former schoolmate of Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser wrote a Facebook post saying she recalls hearing about the alleged assault involving Kavanaugh, though she says she has no first-hand information to corroborate the accuser’s claims.
"Christine Blasey Ford was a year or so behind me," wrote the woman, Cristina Miranda King, who now works as a performing arts curator in Mexico City. "I did not know her personally but I remember her. This incident did happen."
She added, "Many of us heard a buzz about it indirectly with few specific details. However Christine's vivid recollection should be more than enough for us to truly, deeply know that the accusation is true."
Cristina King                                  Carmen Mirandavia Twitter
Cristina King Miranda
Ford, a research psychologist in Northern California, has accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her more than 30 years ago at a drunken high school party. He denies the allegation.
The assertion that other people heard about and discussed an incident between Ford and Kavanaugh at the time it is alleged to have happened could loom as an important factor in any investigation of the claim.
Democrats are calling for the FBI to investigate, but the bureau cannot do so unless the White House asks it to. There is no allegation of a federal crime, so the bureau's role would be to examine the matter as part of its background check into the fitness and character of a Supreme Court nominee.
King has since taken down her Facebook post, which NBC News verified as having appeared on her account. She said on Twitter that she deleted it "because it served its purpose and I am now dealing with a slew of requests for interviews … Organizing how I want to proceed. Was not ready for that, not sure I am interested in pursuing. Thanks for reading."
 She later posted on Facebook: "To all media, I will not be doing anymore interviews. No more circus for me. To clarify my post: I do not have first hand knowledge of the incident that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford mentions, and I stand by my support for Christine. That's it. I don't have more to say on the subject. Please don't contact me further."
NBC News confirmed that the statements were hers, but did not confirm her allegation. King has also been critical of Trump administration policy on social media.
Ford's lawyer has said she wants the FBI to conduct an inquiry before she testifies in a public hearing. Republicans have scheduled a hearing for Monday at which they want to hear from her and Kavanaugh.
Blasey Ford told The Washington Post that she told no one of the incident "in any detail" until 2012, when she was in couples therapy with her husband. In her original post, King said she knew Kavanaugh and Mark Judge, the man Ford says was present during the alleged assault. Judge has said through his attorney he remembers no such incident. King graduated in 1983 from Holton-Arms, the elite all-female private school that Ford also attended, according to an open letter King and many other alumnae signed in support of Ford.
King's post described a culture of heavy drinking among the students of the elite male and female private schools of Washington, D.C., including her own Holton-Arms and also Georgetown Preparatory School, which Judge and Kavanaugh attended.
Judge has written two memoirs acknowledging his heavy drinking during that period. In his 1997 memoir, "Wasted," Judge writes about a "Bart O'Kavanaugh," who passes out drunk and throws up in a car.  
Holton-Arms did not return a call seeking verification of King's attendance. But a 1982 yearbook lists "Cristina King" as a student, and member of the Holton-Arms Athletic Association, an honor society. In her senior year, she led the school chorus as president, according to the 1983 yearbook. "Cristina King was able to keep the chorus members in tune as they trooped up to Hill and Lawrenceville to dazzle the boys with their talent and good looks," the club's yearbook page reads.
Ford appears in both yearbooks as well. She graduated in 1984.
King's LinkedIn page says she attended Brown University and worked for a decade in Washington, D.C. before moving to Mexico.
Ken Dilanian reported from Washington. Brandy Zadrozny and Ben Popken reported from New York.     by Ken Dilanian, Brandy Zadrozny and Ben Popken 

September 12, 2018

A Judge Lying Under Oath "I wrote Some of The Stolen Memos-He should be impeached By LISA GRAVES"





This article first reported and posted on Slate

"He should be impeached, not elevated."


Much of Washington has spent the week focusing on whether Judge Brett Kavanaugh should be confirmed to the Supreme Court. After the revelations of his confirmation hearings, the better question is whether he should be impeached from the federal judiciary.
I do not raise that question lightly, but I am certain it must be raised.
Newly released emails show that while he was working to move through President George W. Bush’s judicial nominees in the early 2000s, Kavanaugh received confidential memos, letters, and talking points of Democratic staffers stolen by GOP Senate aide Manuel Miranda. That includes research and talking points Miranda stole from the Senate server after I had written them for the Senate Judiciary Committee as the chief counsel for nominations for the minority.
Receiving those memos and letters alone is not an impeachable offense.
No, Kavanaugh should be removed because he was repeatedly asked under oath as part of his 2004 and 2006 confirmation hearings for his position on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit about whether he had received such information from Miranda, and each time he falsely denied it. 
For example, in 2004, Sen. Orrin Hatch asked him directly if he received “any documents that appeared to you to have been drafted or prepared by Democratic staff members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.” Kavanaugh responded, unequivocally, “No.”
In 2006, Sen. Ted Kennedy asked him if he had any regrets about how he treated documents he had received from Miranda that he later learned were stolen. Kavanaugh rejected the premise of the question, restating that he never even saw one of those documents. 
  Back then the senators did not have the emails that they have now, showing that Miranda sent Kavanaugh numerous documents containing what was plainly research by Democrats. Some of those emails went so far as to warn Kavanaugh not to distribute the Democratic talking points he was being given. If these were documents shared from the Democratic side of the aisle as part of normal business, as Kavanaugh claimed to have believed in his most recent testimony, why would they be labeled “not [for] distribution”? And why would we share our precise strategy to fight controversial Republican nominations with the Republicans we were fighting? 
Another email chain included the subject line “spying.” It’s hard to imagine a more definitive clue than that. Another said “Senator Leahy’s staff has distributed a confidential letter to Dem Counsel” and then described for Kavanaugh that precise confidential information we had gathered about a nominee Kavanaugh was boosting. Again, it is illogical to think that we would have just given Miranda this “confidential” information for him to use against us. But this is precisely what Judge Kavanaugh suggested in his testimony on Wednesday. He is not that naïve. 
In the hearing this week, Sen. Leahy also noted that the previously hidden emails showed that Miranda asked to meet Kavanaugh in person to give him “paper” files with “useful info to map out [Sens. Joe] Biden and [Dianne] Feinstein, and others.” The promised information included “Biden-speak.” Again, this would not have been a normal information exchange.
In response to Leahy’s questions this week, Kavanaugh made the outlandish claim that it was typical for him to be told what Democrats planned to ask at these combative hearings over controversial nominees, and that this was in fact the “coin of the realm.” As a Democrat who worked on those questions, I can say definitively that it was not typical at all. Kavanaugh knows this full well.
At the time, Kavanaugh was working with Miranda and outside groups to try to force these nominees through the Senate over Democratic objections, and it would have been suicide to give them our research, talking points, strategies, or confidential letters. The GOP senators, their staff, the White House, and outside groups were working intensively to undermine the work of Democratic senators to block the most extreme of President Bush’s judicial nominees.  
The Leahy talking points given to Kavanaugh were from my in-depth research into why the Senate had compelling historical precedent for examining Miguel Estrada’s Department of Justice records, which the White House counsel’s office was refusing to surrender. Other confidential materials Miranda shared with Kavanaugh related to investigations Democrats were pursuing over how Judge Priscilla Owen had handled an abortion case involving parental consent and about the overlap between her funders and groups with business before the courts of Texas. We would never have provided that information—key to our strategy to try to block what we considered extremist judicial nominations—to Miranda or to the White House.
Kavanaugh’s actions were dishonorable and dishonest.
Proceedings with ones in which Democrats might have cooperated with the other side, like the Patriot Act and airline liability. But these weren’t hearings on some bill where senators would share their concerns across the aisle to try to get a bipartisan fix on problems in a piece of legislation. These were oppositional proceedings in committee and on the floor over controversial judicial nominees. Kavanaugh knew this just as intimately as I did—our sides fought over those nominations intensely. It was also an area where Kavanaugh’s judicial nominations alliance had taken a scorched-earth approach, attacking Democrats ruthlessly. The White House’s closest allies went so far as to call Leahy and other Democrats on the committee “anti-Catholic,” even running attack ads.
Perhaps Kavanaugh was so blinded by his quest to get the most controversial Bush nominees confirmed in 2003 that he did not have any concerns about the bounty of secret memos and letters he was receiving—the full extent of which is not known because so many documents are still secret.
But, surely, reasonable questions about what he had been party to would have been considered after the story of the theft exploded in the news, Miranda was forced to resign, and the U.S. Senate sergeant-at-arms began a bipartisan investigation into the files stolen from the Senate?
As of November 2003, when the sergeant-at-arms seized the Judiciary Committee’s servers, Kavanaugh would have been on notice that any of the letters, talking points, or research described as being from Democrats that were provided to him by Miranda were suspect and probably stolen from the Senate’s server. 
But he did nothing. He did not come forward to the Senate to provide information about the confidential documents Miranda had given him, which were clearly from the Democrats.
Kavanaugh also apparently did nothing when the Senate referred the case to the U.S. attorney’s office for criminal prosecution. (Miranda was never prosecuted.)
Eventually, though, Kavanaugh went even further to help cover up the details of the theft.
During the hearings on his nomination to the D.C. Circuit a few months after the Miranda news broke, Kavanaugh actively hid his own involvement, lying to the Senate Judiciary Committee by stating unequivocally that he not only knew nothing of the episode, but also never even received any stolen material.
Even if Kavanaugh could claim that he didn’t have any hint at the time he received the emailsthat these documents were of suspect provenance—which I personally find implausible—there is no reasonable way for him to assert honestly that he had no idea what they were after the revelation of the theft. Any reasonable person would have realized they had been stolen, and certainly someone as smart as Kavanaugh would have too.
But he lied.
  And he did so repeatedly.

Under oath
Significantly, he did so even though a few years earlier he had helped spearhead the impeachment of President Bill Clinton for perjury in a private civil case. Back then Kavanaugh took lying under oath so seriously that he was determined to do everything he could to help remove a president from office.
Now we know that he procured his own confirmation to the federal bench by committing the same offense. And he did so not in a private case but in the midst of public hearings for a position of trust, for a lifetime appointment to the federal judiciary.
His actions were dishonorable and dishonest.
This week, as part of his efforts to be elevated to the highest court in the land, he has calmly continued to deceive, falsely claiming that it would have been perfectly normal for him to receive secret Democratic letters, talking points, and other materials. And if this absurd notion were somehow true, it would not even be consistent with what he testified to 12 and 14 years ago. Back then, he didn’t state it would have been normal for him to receive secret Democratic strategy materials. 
Instead, he explicitly and repeatedly went out of his way to say he never had access to any such materials. These objectively false statements were offered under oath to convince the committee of something that was untrue. It was clearly intentional, with Kavanaugh going so far as to correct Sen. Kennedy when the senator described the document situation accurately.
That’s why—without even getting into other reasonable objections to his nomination—he should not be confirmed.
In fact, by his own standard, he should clearly be impeached. 
Lisa Graves is the co-founder of Documented, which investigates corporate influence on democracy. She is the former chief counsel for nominations for the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and was deputy assistant attorney general in the Department of Justice.

September 5, 2018

Kavanaugh Hearings Today Will Focus on 6 HOT Point Issues-Can He Be Derailed?





Kavanaugh. Trump's hand picked choice
The confirmation of a Supreme Court justice is often a major event that ripples through American law for decades. But Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing, which opens Tuesday, is especially historic because, if confirmed, Kavanaugh is expected to solidify a hard-right majority on the nation's highest court, a majority the likes of which has not been seen since the early 1930s, and which is likely to dominate for a generation or more.  
The almost-week-long hearing will have both more and less drama than Neil Gorsuch's last year — more because Kavanaugh has a longer record in public life and a paper trail to match, and less because the Republicans changed the Senate rules last year to allow confirmation with a simple majority, instead of 60 votes.
With a one-vote GOP majority in the Senate, and no indication so far that any Republican will defect, the outcome would seem a foregone conclusion. Still, anything can happen in a confirmation hearing.
So, here is a crib sheet highlighting five of the issues that will come up this week:
1. Abortion: Will Kavanaugh overturn Roe v. Wade?
Expect Kavanaugh to be asked repeatedly about the Supreme Court's 1973 abortion decision, Roe v. Wade. And expect him to follow in the footsteps of Republican nominees over the last 30 years, refusing to say whether he would overrule or restrict the Supreme Court's decision holding that women have a constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy in the first two trimesters.
Kavanaugh has written only two decisions involving abortion. In 2017, he dissented from an appeals court decision ordering the Trump administration to temporarily release an undocumented 17-year-old from custody, so that she could get an abortion.
The minor had been detained seven weeks earlier after crossing the border illegally. While in custody, she received clearance from a Texas judge for an abortion, which would be paid for by a third-party organization. Nonetheless, the Office of Refugee Resettlement refused to release her for the abortion, and the ACLU went to court on her behalf. In Garza v. Hargan, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ordered her temporary release in order to obtain the abortion when she was, at that point, 15 weeks pregnant. 
Kavanaugh dissented, arguing that it was not an unconstitutional "undue burden" on the girl's rights to allow more time for authorities to find a sponsor for her, so that when she obtained the abortion, the government would not be facilitating it. Kavanaugh accused the majority of essentially allowing "abortion on demand."
In a second case, unrelated to Roe but involving abortion, Doe ex rel. Tarlow v. D.C., Kavanaugh authored a majority opinion permitting the D.C. Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Administration to make medical decisions for persons deemed mentally incompetent. The case was brought on behalf of three individuals, two of whom had been forced to have abortions without their consent.
The challengers maintained that even if they were incompetent to make medical decisions, they should have been consulted. In his opinion, Judge Kavanaugh wrote that the Constitution does not require that an agency consider the consent of incompetent people when making medical decisions on their behalf. Such a right, he said, is not "deeply rooted in this nation's history" nor "implicit in the concept of ordered liberty."
In addition to his abortion opinions, Kavanaugh recently delivered two speeches in which abortion played an indirect role. One speech was about the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist, the other about the late Justice Antonin Scalia. In both, Kavanaugh singled out their dissenting decisions in major abortion cases for favorable comments.
2. Guns: Outlawing them is "equivalent to a ban" on speech?
As a judge, Kavanaugh has staked out an unusually strong position in favor of gun rights. In 2011, for example, he disagreed with his conservative colleagues, writing a 52-page dissent from a decision that upheld a Washington, D.C. ban on assault weapons and magazines of more than 10 rounds, plus broad registration requirements.
A ban on a class of arms, he said, is "equivalent to a ban on category of speech." 
Moreover, as he put it, it is not for judges to weigh public safety in evaluating whether a gun law is constitutional. Rather, he maintained that because rapid-fire weapons "are in common use today" and "have not been traditionally banned," the Constitution does not allow that they be banned now.
"I've been be a lonely voice," Kavanaugh said of his position on gun regulation during a speech at the conservative American Enterprise Institute in 2016.
3. Investigating the president 
The shadow of President Trump's legal difficulties will play at least some role in the hearings. That's because Kavanaugh has, for nearly two decades, been a critic of these investigations. That, despite the fact that he was one of the lead authors of the Clinton impeachment report submitted to Congress by Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr in 1998. 
A year later, however, Kavanaugh strongly suggested that the Supreme Court had been wrong in 1974 to uphold a special prosecutor's subpoena for President Nixon's infamous and incriminating tapes. He argued that by enforcing a subpoena for evidence of a crime, the Supreme Court "took away the power of the president to control information in the executive branch." And he contended that the president's power as chief law enforcement officer "was diminished dramatically" by the the ruling. In 2016 his tone was different in a Catholic University Law Review articlewhen he listed the Nixon tapes case as among "some of the greatest moments in American judicial history ... when judges stood up to the other branches."  
Two years ago, he said that he would like to "put the final nail in" the Supreme Court's 7-1 decision in 1988 upholding the post-Watergate independent counsel law. And in a 2009 law review article, Kavanaugh suggested that Congress should forbid all criminal investigations or prosecutions of a sitting president, as well as all civil lawsuits.
4. Executive power and national security
Kavanaugh, who was in the White House on 9/11, is a staunch advocate of broad and muscular national security powers for the President. While on the D.C. Circuit, he saw the Supreme Court repeatedly limit some of the Bush administration's rules for dealing with enemy combatants.
The Supreme Court ruled first that U.S. citizens, and later that all detainees, could not be held indefinitely without having access to a lawyer and without having a chance to challenge their detentions in court. The high court left it to the D.C. Circuit to deal with these cases on an individual basis, and the appeals court largely agreed on how to handle most, though not all, of the cases.
Kavanaugh was the leader of a small group of conservative judges who critics said sometimes sought to undermine the Supreme Court's rulings. In Al-Bihani v. Obama, for instance, Kavanaugh played a central role regarding whether the government's detention authority was subject to international law. The Obama administration agreed that it was, but Kavanaugh maintained that, as a general matter, courts should not be bound by international norms or treaty obligations unless specifically required by statute or "self-executing" treaties. 
That viewpoint is very controversial in light of the fact that the Supreme Court's opinion upholding the government's power to detain people captured on the battlefield rested on international law. 
Kavanaugh has been a key player on the D.C. Circuit in upholding the power of military tribunals to try detainees for offenses that are not deemed war crimes, namely conspiracy charges. Until now, the Supreme Court has only blessed military tribunals for war crimes. But proving that an individual was involved in a specific crime, a specific terrorist episode, for instance, is very difficult, whereas proving that an individual was involved with others who did commit such offenses is much easier. Both the Bush and Obama administrations argued that military tribunals can try people for conspiracy alone, and Judge Kavanaugh has been a leading judicial defender of that approach.
5. His views of the "administrative state," regulations and presidential authority within the Executive Branch
Kavanaugh has, throughout his career on the bench and off, been deeply skeptical of any limits on the president's power to hire or fire at will. That has sometimes conflicted with the structure and powers of quasi-independent regulatory agencies, and congressionally enacted solutions to current problems, like the 2008 financial crash and the mortgage crisis that followed.
Most recently, Kavanaugh dissented when the D.C. Circuit upheld the structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, created after the crash to protect consumers' financial arrangements. Kavanaugh would have ruled the law creating the bureau unconstitutional, because it was run by a single individual whose independence was protected; he or she could only be fired for cause, meaning unethical or illegal behavior. 
 Kavanaugh's views on the so-called "administrative state" harken back to pre-New Deal times. He does not, for instance, believe that the Environmental Protection Agency should be able to deal with climate change, because when Congress enacted the Clean Air Act, it didn't know about greenhouse gases and climate change, so it didn't specifically authorize the agency to regulate in that area.
Kavanaugh's position is that if Congress wants to amend the law, it should do that, while his adversaries believe that an agency like the EPA was created to deal with emerging problems and new science. 
Kavanaugh's views are widely applauded by business and condemned by environmentalists. Statistics compiled by the liberal group Public Citizen suggest both sides are right in their predilections: in split decisions, Kavanaugh sided with business 18 times on regulatory issues, and four times against business. On environmental protection, he sided 11 times with business, and twice with environmental groups. And on workers' rights, 15 times with business and twice with workers.
The Trump administration trumpets that record. Indeed, the White House issued a one-page unsigned memo this summer proclaiming that "Judge Kavanaugh has overruled federal agency action 75 times," adding that the judge "helped kill President Obama's most destructive new environmental rules."
"Judge Kavanaugh has overruled federal agency action 75 times," it said, adding that the judge "helped kill President Obama's most destructive new environmental rules."
6. Campaign contribution limits — and a fight over documents
Democrats have waged a fight for more of Kavanaugh's documents from the time he was in the George W. Bush White House. They argue the hearings shouldn't proceed until all of the documents have been released.
Part of that is because you never know what's going to be in them. For example, a document released Friday night found that Kavanaugh raised questions about the constitutionality of campaign contribution limits. Individual contributions are currently set at $2,700 per person and limits were upheld by the Supreme Court in 1976.
"I have heard very few people say that the limits on contributions to candidates are unconstitutional, although I for one tend to think those limits have some constitutional problems," Kavanaugh wrote in an email in 2002.
There are some three million documents from Kavanaugh's six years in the White House. Fewer than a third have been produced, and President George W. Bush's lawyers are running the process of what gets released and doesn't. That has Democrats crying foul. Republicans note accurately that more Kavanaugh documents have been produced than for any other nominee. 
But that's likely because there are more, and Democrats counter that whatever the number, its less than 20 percent of Kavanaugh's total White House documents. The National Archives has not endorsed the way the documents have been screened — by lawyers for President Bush, but the archives said it could not go review the documents for public disclosure — as it has for other Supreme Court nominees — before the early confirmation date set by Senate Republicans. As a result, the documents from Kavanaugh's first two years in the Bush White House, as an associate counsel, were reviewed by President Bush's lawyer, who at one time worked for Kavanaugh in the White House. Still, it was President Trump that late last week invoked executive privilege, barring disclosure of 100,000 documents that had been reviewed. That still left, as well, all the documents from Kavanaugh's time as staff secretary for President Bush.  
So what's in all these undisclosed documents? That's the question Democrats are asking. "I'm willing to wager there's a smoking gun here," said Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, a member of the Judiciary Committee. "What are they concealing? What are they afraid the American people will see?"
Republicans portray the whole document controversy as a ploy. Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa contends the Democrats "are diverting attention from his extreme qualifications to be on the Supreme Court ... because they don't have anything else to pick at."
NPR's Domenico Montanaro contributed to this report.

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