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Friday December 6th, 2019 11:25PM

The Latest: Democrat McCaskill noncommittal on Kavanaugh

By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who is meeting Congress members before confirmation hearings in September (all times local):

3:45 p.m.

Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri is remaining noncommittal after meeting with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

McCaskill is one of 10 Democratic senators up for re-election this year in states that President Donald Trump won in 2016. Trump won Missouri by nearly 19 percentage points and McCaskill is under intense pressure from outside groups seeking to sway her vote.

McCaskill says she talked to Kavanaugh Tuesday about his views on ensuring Missouri residents retain access to health care. She says they also talked about his view on "removing dark money from politics, and guaranteeing powerful corporate interests don't prevail over individual Americans."

Kavanaugh is meeting senators ahead of confirmation hearings in September. McCaskill says she looks forward to hearing Kavanaugh testify on the issues they discussed

__

3:15 p.m.

The top Senate Democrat is playing down Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's remark that Roe v. Wade is settled law, saying more needs to be known about his views on abortion.

Sen. Chuck Schumer tells reporters, "Of course we know Roe is settled law. We need to know if Judge Kavanaugh believes it was correctly decided."

Kavanaugh on Tuesday told Sen. Susan Collins of Maine that he agrees that Roe v. Wade is settled law. The answer is important because Collins vowed to oppose a nominee who would be hostile to the abortion decision.

But Schumer says other judges nominated to the Supreme Court by Republican presidents have pledged to follow precedent, only to overturn established laws from the bench.

Schumer spoke while preparing for his own meeting with Kavanaugh.

___

1:30 p.m.

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh thinks the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling on abortion rights is settled law. That's according to Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican senator from Maine who met for two hours with the judge on Tuesday.

Collins, who supports abortion rights, says she talked "at great length" with Kavanaugh about the application of established precedent to abortion cases. She says they also discussed executive power and his judicial philosophy, among other subjects.

Collins is considered a potential swing vote on Kavanaugh's nomination. She says she will not make a decision on how to vote until after the Senate Judiciary Committee holds confirmation hearings in early September.

Republicans hope to have Kavanaugh confirmed by the start of the court's next session, which starts Oct. 1.

___

12:30 a.m.

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is set to meet with Republican Sen. Susan Collins, a centrist who's seen as a potential swing vote on his confirmation.

Collins supports abortion rights and has vowed to oppose any nominee who has "demonstrated hostility" to Roe v. Wade. But the Maine Republican has spoken highly of President Donald Trump's nominee, saying he's qualified for the job.

Kavanaugh is to meet separately Tuesday with Democratic leader Chuck Schumer. The New York senator wants Kavanaugh to support fully releasing documents from his tenure in the George W. Bush White House. Republicans have declined to seek some of those records.

The judge is making the rounds on Capitol Hill ahead of confirmation hearings in September. He has already met with most Republicans and a few Democrats.

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