BOSTON (CBS) – One of the most heated segments of Thursday’s Massachusetts Senate debate between Senator Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren followed a question about the Supreme Court and women’s issues.

Warren began by slamming Brown’s vote against pro-choice Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, and suggested that his re-election could swing the balance of the Senate.
“I was really surprised when Sen. Brown voted against her. This really may be a race for control of the Senate and the Supreme Court may hang in the balance,” Warren said.

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WATCH: Full Senate Debate

Brown, who noted Justice Kagan and Warren’s close relationship, defended his vote as having everything to do with judicial experience.

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“A judge has to have obviously good judicial character, has to have a good temperament, and actually has to have courtroom or judicial experience,” Brown said. “That was one of the reasons I did not vote for Justice Kagan. And I wish her well; I hope she proves me wrong.”

Warren followed up by praising some of Brown’s voting record on abortion, but criticizing him for his vote in favor of an exemption on insurance-covered birth control.

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“I guess the way I see this is the women in Massachusetts deserve a senator they can count on not some of the time, but a senator they can count on all of the time,” she said.

Brown fired back with a fierce defense, even citing the late Massachusetts Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy.

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“You should stop scaring women, professor. Because I’ve been fighting for women since I was six years old,” Brown responded. “I’m going to continue to make sure they have that care and coverage. But I’m not going to pit women against their church and their faith and allow… I have the same position as Senator Kennedy in providing a conscience exemption that allows Catholics in particular, churches, hospitals, health care facilities that practice faith to have that ability to not provide certain care and coverages.”

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The two also argued over whether or not Brown supports equal pay for women. Warren said Brown voted against it, while Brown noted several measures he said are already in place to protect equal pay.