GOP schedules Supreme Court hearings, outraging Democrats

Brett Kavanaugh

The Senate Judiciary Committee will being confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on September 4, committee chairman Charles Grassley said in a statement Friday. Republicans did not request those documents, arguing they were irrelevant to his nomination, but did ask for documents from Kavanaugh's time in the White House counsel.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said earlier Friday in a radio interview that he hopes Kavanaugh would be confirmed by the Senate "before the first Monday in October". Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said in a statement Friday.

Grassley said he expects Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing will last three to four days, with opening statements by committee members set to begin September 4. Questioning will begin the following day.

On his time at the White House, Kavanaugh has said, "my five and a half years in the White House - and especially my three years as Staff Secretary for President Bush - were among the most interesting and in many ways among the most instructive".

Kavanaugh once helped write the Starr Report, which outlined broad grounds on which to impeach President Clinton for his role in the Monica Lewinsky scandal. "My team has already reviewed every page of the over 4,800 pages of judicial opinions Judge Kavanaugh wrote, over 6,400 pages of opinion he joined, more than 125,000 pages of records produced from his White House legal service, and over 17,000 pages in response to the most comprehensive questionnaire ever submitted to a nominee".

The memo provides greater insight into Kavanaugh's views on executive power that are expected to feature prominently in the Senate confirmation hearings.

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"He's a mainstream judge. He has a record of judicial independence and applying the law as it is written", Grassley said.

Democrats say the Republicans are relying on the cherry-picked files being released primarily by Bush's lawyer, Bill Burck, who is compiling and vetting the documents, rather than the traditional process conducted by the National Archives and Records Administration. "It's time for the American people to hear directly from Judge Kavanaugh".

Democrats, led by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY and Sen.

A spokeswoman for Feinstein said the senator is "reviewing options in the event he continues to restrict access to only senators on the committee". John McCain has been receiving cancer treatment in his home state, Republicans can not afford to lose any votes and hope to advance Kavanaugh's nomination if no Democrats support him.

Kavanaugh will face questions followed by testimony from legal experts and people who know the judge. "They just don't like the fact that his record shows he is fair, independent and adheres to the Constitution, so they are now resorting to obstruction and gridlock to extend their fishing expedition", Martin said.

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