Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation hearings will start on Sept. 4 and last between three and four days, Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) announced on Friday. That scheduling tees up the GOP to meet its goal of getting President Donald Trump’s pick seated on the high court by the time its term begins in early October, barring unforeseen obstacles or a breakthrough by Democrats who are pushing to derail Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
The Supreme Court battle so far has focused on documents related to Kavanaugh’s five years in the George W. Bush White House. Democrats have excoriated the GOP for declining to seek records from the nominee’s time as Bush’s staff secretary and condemned the Republican decision to rely on a Bush-driven review process for the early round of vetting, while the majority party hails the vast scope of documents that are set for release.
UPDATE: From Democratic Sen. Cory Booker.
“Holding a hearing on a Supreme Court nominee before receiving even the small subset of documents that Republicans themselves have requested is nothing short of stunning. This development is just the latest demonstration of the extent to which Senate Republicans have hijacked the normal process for vetting Supreme Court nominees and turned it into an opaque, partisan, wildly incomplete exercise that is an affront to the Senate’s constitutional duty. With months remaining in the current Congress, the only reasonable explanation for the rush is that Senate Republicans and the Trump White House are concerned about what will emerge if the appropriate documents are produced.”
UPDATE II: From Lambda Legal.
“Republicans and Democrats alike are entitled to review Brett Kavanaugh’s entire record before he comes before the Senate Judiciary Committee. There is too much at stake to fast-track a nominee who will jeopardize affordable healthcare, access to safe and legal abortion, and LGBTQ equality. Protecting our courts is a two-party job, and the American people are entitled to know what Brett Kavanaugh is hiding. In pushing ahead with a hearing in early September, Republican leaders are once again calling into question whether they have the capacity to put the interests of the American people ahead of their loyalty to Donald Trump and his dangerous agenda.”