WASHINGTON (AP) — Women who have served as law clerks for Judge Brett Kavanaugh have written a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee encouraging the Supreme Court nominee's confirmation.

The letter from 18 women calls Kavanaugh "one of the strongest advocates in the federal judiciary for women lawyers." It follows a separate letter sent earlier this week to the committee by all his former clerks.

The letter notes that Kavanaugh has hired more women than men as law clerks, and has sent 84 percent of them to clerkships at the Supreme Court.

The letter comes as his backers try to head off tough questions Kavanaugh is likely to face on issues like abortion and gay rights.

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