Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is expected to appear for hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee in September, followed by a final confirmation vote in early October, according to GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa.
Grassley, who chairs the Judiciary Committee, told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt that he hopes Kavanaugh will join the Court by the start of its coming term.
“All I can tell you at this point — and maybe a week from now I can be more specific — [is] sometime during September,” Grassley said. “But the earlier, the better, and if these documents coming from the archives and from George W. Bush’s presidential library and other things get up here soon…we can have a hearing.”
“If we could get this all done by October 1st when the Supreme Court starts its new fall session, [that] would be ideal,” he added. “But I think we can get it done soon after that if we don’t get it done by October 1st.”
A hearing in August does not appear likely, at least at this juncture, because the Senate has scheduled confirmation votes on a battery of Trump appeals court nominees, and is working to pass appropriates bills. (RELATED: Kagan Fears Politicized Confirmations Are Destroying Public Faith In Courts)
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has threatened to schedule the confirmation vote in immediate proximity to the November election, to maximize political pressure on vulnerable Democrats, while keeping Democrats out of their home states during a crucial stretch of the campaign.
Grassley submitted a request for documents relating to Kavanaugh’s work as a lawyer in the Bush administration on July 27. Lawmakers will review those records in the coming weeks, hoping the legal guidance he provided to White House officials will offer insights into his jurisprudential views.
In addition to his White House counsel work product, Senate Democrats also want access to documents Kavanaugh handled or generated as staff secretary. The GOP says those records aren’t relevant to the review process, since the staff secretary largely plays an administrative role, as opposed to a policy role.
Senate Democrats submitted their own records request to the Bush presidential library on Tuesday. It does not appear the library will honor the appeal.
“The Republican majority has cast aside Democratic wishes for openness and transparency and has made a partisan request for only a small subset of Judge Kavanaugh’s records,” Schumer said. “It is such a break from precedent that you have to wonder: What are the Republicans hiding about Judge Kavanaugh’s record?”
Kavanaugh’s cumulative White House paper trail is believed to run over one million pages.
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