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FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – During a contentious first day of confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee sparred over information.

Namely, the thousands of documents the Trump administration decided to withhold from Kavanaugh’s time serving President George W. Bush.

Republicans say Kavanaugh is more than qualified to take his seat on the bench while Democrats are trying to paint his as an extremist who will do President Trump’s bidding.

In South Florida, those watching the proceedings with interest took sides.

“If the mandate about preexisting conditions goes away we would be living with the fear about having to even try to find insurance,” said Carolyn Newman.

Newman is a breast cancer survivor who along with a representative from Planned Parenthood stood side by side with Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz to sound the alarm about what they see as an incoming assault.

“Access to quality affordable health care is at stake here, make no mistake about it, it’s a dangerous reality for women in America if the confirmation hearing of Judge Kavanaugh that is going on now results in a confirmation,” said Wasserman Schultz.

Wasserman-Schultz is standing in solidarity with fellow Democrats in opposing Kavanaugh’s confirmation. She said if he is confirmed, it could upend the lives of millions of American’s with pre-existing conditions and women’s reproductive rights.

Kavanaugh if confirmed would replace swing vote Justice Anthony Kennedy and posed a real threat, said Wasserman-Schultz, to both Roe versus Wade and the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.

“As a breast cancer survivor I know I refuse to go back to the days when insurance companies could discriminate against women with pre-existing conditions,” she said.

“He is definitely a conservative justice,” said Charles Zeldon, a professor at Nova Southeastern University and an expert on the Supreme Court.

Zeldon feels that it is likely that Kavanaugh, based on his prior rulings, would tip the balance of the court and could spell a significant challenge to key rulings including Roe v. Wade.

“I doubt you’ll see Roe V. Wade overturned per se but what you will see is a thousand and one cuts on the ability to access the rights granted, the state will make it increasingly more and more difficult for a woman to seek and then successfully have an abortion to the point that you will have a constitutional right that no one will have access to,” said Zeldon.

By Rielle Creighton

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