Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is threatening to tee up a November vote on Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh if Democrats do not drop their extensive request for records, according to a Friday Politico report.
Senate Democrats, led by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), are demanding documents, perhaps up to one million pages of them, spanning Kavanaugh’s career in the George W. Bush White House as he comes up for Senate consideration. Breitbart News’s Senior Legal Editor Ken Klukowski opined Friday that Schumer’s move was “merely an obstructionist tactic to push his confirmation into 2019 to harm Republicans in the midterms, and hoping to retake Senate control so they can keep the Supreme Court seat open until 2021, after the next presidential election.”
According to Politico, McConnell told Capitol Hill Republicans at meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday if the left persisted in these requests, he would delay the vote on Kavanaugh until late October or November, forcing vulnerable red state Democrats to vote up or down on Kavanaugh just before voters go to the polls. McConnell, by the same reports, reiterated his preference for a vote before the Senate’s October recess, which would allow Kavanaugh to take his seat before the opening of the Supreme Court’s main 2018-2019 session.
McConnell’s delaying the vote through October may also deprive the same incumbent Democrats of their October recess and the ability to campaign full-time in the leadup to the election.
The Kavanaugh confirmation is sure to be a wedge issue for Democrats seeking reelection in states President Donald Trump won by significant margins. One such senator, Joe Manchin (D-WV), has signaled his willingness to potentially vote for Kavanaugh and urged his fellow Democrats to keep an open mind. Another, Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), also explicitly kept open the possibility of voting to confirm Kavanaugh two weeks ago. Rep. Kevin Cramer, Heitkamp’s GOP challenger, told Politico, “I don’t have any doubt in my mind that she’s going to vote for him.”
As the Democrat party’s “progressive” wing digs in for a fight to keep Judge Kavanaugh off the nation’s highest court, these more moderate red state Democrats may be placed in a precarious political situation by their tactics.
Schumer’s document requests are not the end of efforts to derail Kavanaugh’s steadily progressing nomination. Democrats are also combing through public records, trying to find dirt on Kavanaugh. Meanwhile, left-wing legal group Fix the Court is sueing to force the release of tens of thousands of pages of documents detailing his entire professional career in the Bush administration and in the office of Independent Counsel Ken Starr.