More dramatic procedural battles. During his lofty opening statement on Tuesday, Booker wound from the special counsel investigation to Russian election meddling to labor rights to healthcare to suicide rates among farmers to dark money to Martin Luther King Jr.to the Three-Fifths Compromise of 1787.
Citing the precedent dating back to the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg two and a half decades ago, Kavanaugh said he was unable provide give a response. Releasing committee confidential documents could result in expulsion from the Senate, but on Thursday Booker called it an act of civil disobedience and challenged Republican Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, "Apply the rule".
Booker's office later released the document (read it here) in which Kavanaugh was critical of some Department of Transportation affirmative action policies. The Judiciary Committee is now holding that email on a confidential basis. During the Senate confirmation hearing on Thursday, he threatened to release it to the public.
After Lee's attempt to aid the conservative judge was finished, Harris slipped the political equivalent of a jab - directly at Kavanaugh's head.
The third day of the confirmation hearing again was repeatedly interrupted by protesters hostile to Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh, writes The Fix's Aaron Blake, has some explaining to do on this discrepancy.
And on Wednesday, Klobuchar pointedly used female pronouns to describe the president when she questioned Kavanaugh on hypotheticals about executive power.
Mr. Booker quoted from the emails during his questioning of the judge. " ... Why is it so hard for you to acknowledge your response to the question and acknowledge that at least your answer was misleading, if not wrong?" "No one is above the law in our constitutional system", he said. Republicans on the committee showed no qualms with any discrepancy between what Kavanaugh wrote then and has said now. It didn't seem to work.
Asked about that document, Kavanaugh said he suggested the change because he thought the draft language was overstating the thinking of legal scholars at the time. He refused to say that the case legalizing abortion was correctly decided, even as he went out of his way to say other decades-old cases, like the 1970s presidential powers case in US v. Nixon, were correct.
The committee considering Kavanaugh's nomination will hear from outside witnesses on Friday before the hearing wraps up. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.). "Why is that not a thumbs up?" Women's health advocates have said that Kavanaugh would overturn the ruling and criminalize abortions. "And with 102,000 documents withheld by the Trump White House, mostly about judicial nominees, we can bet there's more".
Republicans hope to confirm Kavanaugh in time for the first day of the new Supreme Court term, October 1.
Harris is one of several Democrats concerned about Kavanaugh's view of whether a sitting president can be indicted.
Kavanaugh was referring to justices at that time - meaning in 2003. The emails in question were apparently a discussion between Democrats over how to question Bush's judicial nominees, and were stolen by a Republican staffer named Manuel Miranda. Richard Blumenthal of CT to pledge to step aside from any Supreme Court cases dealing with Trump and Mueller's investigation.
"I just want to say to my colleagues, particularly my colleague from New Jersey, I completely agree with you". With Harris a junior member of the Judiciary Committee, any second try or big revelation from her would come late Thursday. Booker then said he would release an email about racial profiling even, he said, if he could be kicked out of the Senate for violating rules.
It was just the sort of tense exchange in which Harris, the former attorney general of California, thrives.
Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas spoke up after Booker mentioned his name. Booker has been discussed as a possible 2020 presidential contender.
But they did accomplish one very important thing for a wannabe president: Get noticed.