September 05, 2018

At Confirmation Hearing, Harris Presses Kavanaugh on Mueller, Roe v. Wade, and Voting Rights

WASHINGTON, D.C. – At today’s Senate Judiciary confirmation hearing, U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris pressed U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh on a wide range of topics including potential conversations on special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, Roe v. Wade, and voter suppression.

Senator Harris began her questioning by inquiring whether or not Judge Kavanaugh had ever discussed Mueller or his investigation with anyone at Kasowitz Benson & Torres – the law firm founded by Marc Kasowitz, President Trump’s personal lawyer. “Have you discussed Mueller or his investigation with anyone at Kasowitz Benson and Torres, the law firm founded by Marc Kasowitz, President Trump's personal lawyer? Be sure about your answer, sir,” said Harris.

Kavanaugh couldn’t give a definitive answer.

During her questioning, Harris discussed Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions about her body as an equality issue, and asked Kavanaugh if he could think of “any laws that give government the power to make decisions about the male body?” In response, Kavanuagh was unable to provide any examples. “I’m not thinking of any right now, Senator.”

Later, Harris probed Kavanaugh on the state of voter suppression in the country following the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision to gut the Voting Rights Act. “For 50 years the Voting Rights Act protected against racial discrimination in voting. I know you had this conversation prior with my colleague Senator Booker,” said Harris. “Under the Act, it states that a [state with a] record of discriminatory voting practices had to obtain federal permission to change their voting laws.” […] “But then came the Court's decision in Shelby and by a 5-4 vote the Court gutted the Act, effectively ending federal approval requirement…Are you aware that within weeks of this Supreme Court's ruling Republican legislators in North Carolina rushed through a laundry list of new voting restrictions, restrictions that disproportionately disenfranchised racial minorities?”

Following a series of questions about specific instances of voter suppression, Harris asked whether or not Kavanaugh believed Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act was constitutional. Kavanaugh refused to answer.