Nonetheless, it raises questions as to how settled he considers the decision.
In the 2002 email, Kavanaugh said that although he favored race-neutral policies in policing, there was an "interim question of what to do before a truly effective and comprehensive race-neutral system is developed and implemented". That prospect worries Democrats and heartens Republicans on volatile issues including abortion, gun rights, gay rights, the death penalty, religious liberty and business regulation.
Inside the hearing, protesters shouted out, and Democrats immediately demanded the hearing be stalled until thousands of documents from Kavanaugh's time as a Bush-era White House lawyer are reviewed.
Addressing some of those concerns, Kavanaugh said that "the first thing that makes a good judge is independence, not being swayed by political or public pressure", He cited historic court cases including Brown v. Board of Education that desegregated schools and USA v. Nixon that compelled the president to turn over the Watergate tapes - a ruling that Kavanaugh had previously questioned.
Feinstein was not satisfied, saying that she has sat through nine prior Supreme Court nominations, and each nominee has declared an intent to follow stare decisis "and they get confirmed and then, of course, they don't". Barring surprises, he appears likely to win confirmation in time to take his place on the bench when the Supreme Court begins its fall term next month.
Senator Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., the judiciary panel's top Democrat, echoed the sentiment of the protesters.
"You'll never have a nominee who's ruled for a more unpopular defendant", Kavanaugh said.
Kavanaugh also said in response to pointed questions by Democratic Sen.
In a tweet in June, President Trump said he had "the absolute right to PARDON myself".
"The fact that there is nothing in that document that's personal information, there's nothing national security-related, the fact that it was labeled as committee confidential, exposes that this process, sir, is a bit of a sham", Booker said.
Kavanaugh, a judge on the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, supported a petition from the broadband industry for the full court to rehear the case that upheld the FCC's right to impose utility-style regulations on internet services.
Kavanaugh also said he was unaware of the domestic violence allegations against Rob Porter, who was President Donald Trump's staff secretary.
Grassley ignored the Democrats' request to stop the hearing, saying it was "out of order". Some 42,000 pages were released to senators only, not the public, on the evening before the hearing.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) seemed exasperated as Booker went on about violating Senate rules.
Republicans hold a one-vote Senate majority.
"They are widely possessed in the United States, senator, and they are used and possessed", Kavanaugh responded. So far, there are no signs of Republican defections. "I am deeply honored to be nominated to fill his seat on the Supreme Court", Kavanaugh said as Trump announced his nomination at the White House July 9.
The Senate can only expel a senator with a vote of two-thirds of its members, a hurdle Republicans could not hope to muster in the 51-49 body they control.