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Sen. Cory Booker releases confidential Kavanaugh emails

By Nicholas Sakelaris
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Sen. Cory Booker speaks during the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/40076adc55f9297e0608ae7a9143efa1/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Sen. Cory Booker speaks during the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 6 (UPI) -- Sen. Cory Booker made public Thursday several confidential emails from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's time as White House counsel.

The act of defiance by Booker, D-N.J., comes on the third day of intense questioning as the Senate considers Kavanaugh's nomination to the high court.

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"I am right now, before your process is finished, I am going to release the email about racial profiling and I understand the penalty comes with potential ousting from the Senate," Booker said.

The emails deal with racial inequality and racial profiling. Dated 2001 and 2002, they include Kavanaugh's thoughts on how to implement security measures at airports in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks. Kavanaugh pushed for a race-neutral system. The email was sent to attorney Helgard C. Walker, another counselor to Bush.

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In the emails, Kavanaugh also talked about his views on making exceptions for Native Americans.

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"If it grants benefits to Native Americans because of their race/ethnicity alone, that raises serious problems under Rice and the Constitution, which generally requires that all Americans be treated as equal (absent a program narrowly tailored to serve a compelling government interest). The desire to remedy societal discrimination is not a compelling interest, however."

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He also opposed the use of affirmative action at the Department of Transportation.

"The fundamental problem in this case is that these DOT regulations use a lot of legalisms and disguises to mask what is a naked racial set-aside," Kavanaugh wrote in 2001.

Meanwhile, emails released by The New York Times reveal that Kavanaugh had doubts about whether Roe v. Wade was "settled law." The email from Kavanaugh was written during his time in the Bush administration.

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"I am not sure that all legal scholars refer to Roe as the settled law of the land at the Supreme Court level since the Court can always overrule its own precedent, and three Justices on the Court would do so."

Kavanaugh sent that email to attorney Patrick Bumatay, another Bush counselor.

At Thursday's hearing, Kavanaugh responded by saying he wanted to clarify the point that not all legal scholars would think alike.

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"I'm always concerned about accuracy, and I thought it was not an accurate description of all legal scholars," he said.

He added that Roe v. Wade is "an important precedent that has been reaffirmed many times."

He wouldn't answer Sen. Dianne Feinstein's questions on whether it was "correct law."

Democrats are trying to stall President Donald Trump's nomination until after the midterm elections. Booker argued that Trump shouldn't get to appoint a Supreme Court nominee who could preside over his investigation.

The heated debates have sparked public protests in the chambers with some demonstrators being forcibly removed. Police arrested 73 people in the Senate office on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The hearings will continue through Friday. The panel will then vote on Kavanaugh's appointment. From there, it would go before the full Senate, where a simple majority is required.

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Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings for Supreme Court

Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings for Supreme Court
Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh testifies on the third day of his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing, on Capitol Hill on Thursday. Judge Kavanaugh was nominated to fill the seat of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy who announced his retirement in June. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

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