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Senate panel to hold Kavanaugh vote next week

By Nicholas Sakelaris and Danielle Haynes
Senate panel to hold Kavanaugh vote next week
Supreme Court justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh listens at a confirmation hearing before the Senate judiciary committee on September 6. Late Wednesday, he released 1,200 pages of written responses to questions he received from the panel. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 13 (UPI) -- The Senate judiciary committee on Thursday delayed a vote on Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court until next week.

The committee voted 11-0 to hold the vote Sept. 20 at 1:45 p.m., an expected move, The Washington Post reported.

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A full Senate vote could come during the last week of September. Kavanaugh needs 51 senators, a simple majority, to win confirmation.

The delay came as Kavanaugh released written answers to questions he received from senators during his confirmation hearings last week.

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President Donald Trump nominated Kavanaugh, a longtime Washington, D.C., Circuit Court of Appeals judge, to replace retiring Justice Anthony M. Kennedy.

The questions, mostly from Democrats, deal with abortion, executive power and personal finances -- including how much he spends on tickets to see Major League Baseball's Washington Nationals.

During one hearing, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. asked for a clarification on Kavanaugh's stance on abortion, which was made legal in the United States in 1973 in the landmark Roe vs. Wade.

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"If confirmed, I would respect the law of precedent given its centrality to stability, predictability, impartiality and public confidence in the rule of law," Kavanaugh said.

Kavanaugh also explained an occasion during the hearings last week when he turned away Fred Guttenberg, whose 14-year-old daughter was among the 17 slain in a Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

Numerous protesters had interrupted the hearings and Kavanaugh said he didn't know who Guttenberg was as he approached him. Security personnel ushered Kavanaugh out of the room.

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"In that split second, I unfortunately did not realize that the man was the father of a shooting victim from Parkland, Fla.," Kavanaugh said. "Mr. Guttenberg has suffered an incalculable loss. If I'd known who he was, I would have shaken his hand, talked to him and expressed my sympathy. And I would have listened to him."

Kavanaugh also addressed how he racked up thousands of dollars in credit card debt buying season tickets to the Washington Nationals games -- saying he's a sports fan and usually splits the tickets with friends. He said he's attended hundreds of regular season games.

"We would usually divide the tickets in a 'ticket draft' at my house," he said. "Everyone in the group paid me for their tickets based on the cost of the tickets, to the dollar. No one overpaid or underpaid me for tickets. No loans were given in either direction."

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Also Thursday, Feinstein said she forwarded a letter she received about Kavanaugh to the FBI for further investigation. She did not offer details about the contents of the mysterious letter.

"I have received information from an individual concerning the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court," she said in a statement. "That individual strongly requested confidentiality, declined to come forward or press the matter further, and I have honored that decision. I have, however, referred the matter to federal investigative authorities."

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