WASHINGTON – Senate Judiciary Committee hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will begin in less than a month.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley announced Friday that the hearings for Kavanaugh will be September 4. The hearings are expected to take three or four days. Opening statements will take up the majority of the first day, and questioning will likely begin on the second day. Testimonies by those who know Kavanaugh, outside legal experts, and the American Bar Association will follow the questioning.
Grassley’s team has reviewed hundreds of thousands of records from Kavanaugh’s time as a federal judge, the largest number of Executive Branch records ever received for the consideration of a Supreme Court nominee. The committee still expects to receive several hundred thousand additional pages of Executive Branch documents.
“As I said after his nomination, Judge Kavanaugh is one of the most respected jurists in the country and one of the most qualified nominees ever to be considered by the Senate for a seat on our highest court,” Grassley said. “He’s a mainstream judge.”
U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith have both spoken about their concerns over Kavanaugh’s nomination.
Following the nomination, Smith claimed Kavanaugh was “hand-picked by extremist conservative groups.”
“Here’s what we know: Brett Kavanaugh was hand-picked by extremist conservative groups. That’s not consensus. We should NOT be voting until we have a new Congress and let me be clear: I will oppose this nominee.”
Klobuchar said that she is also troubled by Kavanaugh and his views on the separation of powers.
“As our children are told from the time they go to school–no one is above the law,” she said.
GOP-endorsed candidate for Senate Karin Housley, on the other hand, said that Kavanaugh was an “excellent choice.”
“Judge Kavanaugh is a respected legal mind whose career has been spent upholding both the rule of law and, most importantly, our Constitution,” Housley said. “At a time when our nation’s founding principles are increasingly called into question, Judge Kavanaugh will make a tremendous addition to the High Court.”
Grassley noted Kavanaugh’s record of judicial independence and applying the law as it is written.
“It’s time for the American people to hear directly from Judge Kavanaugh at his public hearing,” Grassley said. “He’s met with dozens of senators who have nothing but positive things to say.”
If the hearings go as planned, Kavanaugh may be confirmed before the new court session begins on October 1.