WASHINGTON (AP) – The Latest on confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh (all times local):
John Dean, the former White House counsel to President Richard Nixon, predicts the nation will have the most “pro-presidential powers” Supreme Court in modern history if Donald Trump’s nominee is confirmed.
In written testimony submitted before Friday’s Senate confirmation hearing, Dean predicts that with Brett Kavanaugh on the high court, it will become “a weak check, at best, on presidential power.” He calls the scenario “deeply troubling,” adding that there is “much to fear from an unchecked president who is inclined to abuse his powers.”
Dean, a critic of Trump, is testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee at the invitation of Democrats.
Dean cooperated with prosecutors during the Watergate investigation and helped bring down Nixon’s presidency. He served four months in prison after being convicted of obstruction of justice.
Members of an American Bar Association committee have given Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh their highest rating of “well qualified” based on his integrity, competence and judicial temperament.
John Tarpley, the lead evaluator in the review, says it was clear based on interviews with peers that Kavanaugh learned integrity at an early age. He says Kavanaugh received high praise for his knowledge of the law and for his judicial temperament, with reviewers saying he was affable and kept an open mind.
Tarpley says the ABA panel would have been hard pressed to come to any conclusion other than Kavanaugh showed “exceptional professional competence.”
Republicans embraced the evaluation, though they have at times sharply rebuked the ABA for giving low ratings to some of President Donald Trump’s other judicial nominees.
Senators have begun the fourth and final day of confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
On the schedule Friday are more than two dozen witnesses on both sides of the nomination fight. Democratic witnesses include John Dean, Richard Nixon’s White House counsel who cooperated with prosecutors during the Watergate investigation, and Rochelle Garza, the legal guardian for a pregnant immigrant teenager whose quest for an abortion Kavanaugh would have delayed last year.
Kavanaugh finished two marathon days in the witness chair Thursday. He avoided any serious mistakes that might jeopardize his confirmation and appears to be on his way to becoming the court’s 114th justice.
Republicans hope to confirm Kavanaugh in time for the first day of the new Supreme Court term, Oct. 1.
Senate Democrats worked into the night in a last attempt to paint Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as a foe of abortion rights and a likely defender of President Donald Trump. But after two marathon days in the witness chair in a Senate hearing room, Kavanaugh appeared to be on a path to confirmation as a Supreme Court justice.
The 53-year-old appellate judge stuck to a well-rehearsed script, avoiding any serious mistakes that might jeopardize his chances at confirmation.
Senators will return for a final hearing day on Friday along with more than two dozen witnesses on both sides of the nomination.
Republicans hope to confirm Kavanaugh in time for the first day of the new Supreme Court term on Oct. 1.
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