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Feinstein says Kavanaugh hostile toward gun control, abortion

September 4, 2018

The top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee previewed some of her party’s concerns with President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh Tuesday, saying his views on abortion and gun rights are further to the right than the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California said Judge Kavanaugh’s dissent in a case involving an illegal immigrant minor seeking an abortion during his time on the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. suggests he would overturn the Supreme Court’s 1973 landmark case legalizing abortion, Roe v Wade.

Judge Kavanaugh, who met with more than 60 senators ahead of his confirmation hearing, told Sen. Susan Collins, Maine Republican, he viewed Roe v. Wade as settled law, but that wasn’t enough to ease Ms. Feinstein’s concerns.

“The impact of overturning Roe is much broader than a woman’s right to choose, it’s about protecting the most personal decisions we all make from government intrusion,” Ms. Feinstein said.

She also took issue with Judge Kavanaugh’s dissent in a case where his colleagues on the circuit court upheld a ban in the District of Columbia against assault weapons.

Judge Kavanaugh would have ruled the ban illegal, saying assault weapons were protected under the Second Amendment.

“Your reasoning is far outside the mainstream of legal thought and it surpasses the views of Scalia, who was obviously a pro-gun justice,” she said. “If the Supreme Court were to adopt your reasoning, I fear the number of victims would continue to grow.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Orrin Hatch, Utah Republican, said the judge is supported by nationally renowned attorneys who are not conservatives. He said that support suggested Judge Kavanaugh is within the mainstream.

“Those who know Judge Kavanaugh hold him in highest regard. That is true of both Republicans and Democrats,” Mr. Hatch said.

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