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sábado, 11 de agosto de 2018

Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation process to begin September 4

Republicans aren’t going to wait for millions of documents to be produced from the National Archives before they hold confirmation hearings for Judge Brett Kavanaugh. The Senate Judiciary Committee announced on Friday that the hearings are scheduled for Sept. 4 in a condensed timeline that could see Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court before October.

The wait is over

Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley said that the Senate is going to have to be content with the information that is already available on Judge Kavanaugh, including 12 years of judicial rulings and more documents than have ever been made available for a Supreme Court nominee.

“It’s time for the American people to hear directly from Judge Kavanaugh at his public hearing,” Mr. Grassley said.

Kavanaugh, who was nominated over a month ago to fill the seat of retired Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, is expected to sit for one to two days of questioning before he is given a week to answer written queries from the Senate. Then, two weeks after his written responses are received, the committee clears the nominee for a full vote on the Senate floor.

While Democrats could attempt a filibuster to halt Kavanaugh’s nomination, Republicans can overturn it with a simple majority since they maintain a narrow 51-49 majority in the upper chamber. Democrats like Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) have referred to the process that allows the Senate to overturn a filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee without a 60-vote threshold as “broken.”


However, all is fair in love and politics, and Democrats are only getting what they wished for when they overturned the filibuster for lower-court nominees during the Obama presidency, opening up a legislative Pandora’s Box that allowed Republicans to use the same simple majority to confirm Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court in 2017.

If the GOP sticks to their schedule, Kavanaugh could be seated on the high court by Oct. 1. “He’ll get confirmed. It won’t be a landslide, but he’ll get confirmed,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell predicted.

Kavanaugh’s potential confirmation is moving far too quickly for Senate Democrats who complain that they don’t know enough about the judge’s time in Washington to make a decision. During the 1990s, Kavanaugh worked as part of an independent counsel investigating the Clinton White House, before he moved on to the Bush administration from 2001 to 2006.

Democrats have asked for millions of pages of documents detailing the judge’s service during these years, and have said that they will refuse to confirm him until they are released. Republicans, however, said that their colleagues will have to make do with the 12 years of judicial rulings from Kavanaugh since he was appointed as a circuit court judge.

“This is unprecedented and unfair to the American people,” said Illinois Sen. Richard Durbin (D). “The American people deserve to know the true story of the man seeking a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land.”

Backdoor politics

However, the Democratic delay is really just a strategy designed to hold off on the hearings until after the midterm elections in November, when Democrats could win back a majority in the Senate. The National Archives have said that it would take them until late October to release a small portion of the massive trove of documents Democrats are requesting.

Before Kavanaugh was even named as President Donald Trump’s choice to replace Kennedy, progressives like Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) were demanding that the confirmation wait until after November.

“Anything but that would be the absolute height of hypocrisy,” Schumer said.

McConnell is unmoved by his Democratic colleagues’ protestations. “There’s no presidential election this year,” he told NBC News, explaining why it was okay to delay confirmation hearings in 2016, when President Barack Obama’s nomination was ignored, and not now, ahead of the 2018 midterms.

Kavanaugh’s confirmation will effectively put an end to the left’s underhanded and unconstitutional tactic of resisting the president by using federal judges to block his agenda. Democrats have legislated themselves into a corner and, like it or not, it is time to face the music.