WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) announced on Friday that his Senate Judiciary Committee will hold hearings on Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination for the U.S. Supreme Court on September 4 through 7, giving the Senate time to confirm him before the Supreme Court begins its annual term on October 1.
Opening statements from Kavanaugh and the senators on the committee will take place September 4. The senators will then question the nominee on September 5. The final part of the hearings will include testimony from national leaders in the legal community.
Democrats are expressing outrage at the schedule, saying that they have not had enough time or material to vet President Trump’s nominee, but those objections fall apart on the facts.
Grassley has presided over the most thorough vetting of any Supreme Court justice in U.S. history, and he says it is now time for his committee to prepare for public hearings.
Kavanaugh has served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for 12 years. During that time he has authored 307 opinions, totaling 4,800 pages. He has also joined hundreds more, for a total of over 6,400 pages of additional judicial opinions. This comprehensive record of his legal philosophy has been in the public domain for years.
All that notwithstanding, Grassley has ensured that the Judiciary Committee took an extremely close look at Kavanaugh, and has reviewed hundreds of thousands of documents. While senators received 172,000 pages on Justice Elena Kagan and 184,000 pages on Justice Neil Gorsuch, lawmakers received an all-time record of over 900,000 pages of documents on Kavanaugh – the largest number of Executive Branch records ever submitted to the Senate for a Supreme Court nominee in American history.
Beyond that, Kavanaugh returned the most comprehensive, bipartisan Senate questionnaire in the history of the Judiciary Committee, providing 110 pages of answers to the committee’s questions. These answers were accompanied by an astounding 17,000 pages of documentation and supporting materials.
Grassley has also allowed more time to review the nominee than other modern Supreme Court picks, looking back at all vacancies over the past decade. Former Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) scheduled hearings 48 days after the nomination of Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and 49 days after Kagan’s nomination. Hearings for Gorsuch began 48 days after his nomination announcement. By contrast, Kavanaugh’s hearings will start 57 days after his nomination.
“Democrats have already announced that they oppose him, so this claim that they need more time or more documents is nothing more than a show, a fishing expedition designed to obstruct and create gridlock,” said Judicial Crisis Network Chief Counsel Carrie Severino. “Judge Kavanaugh has been endorsed by leading figures on the right and the left. He is a mainstream nominee who will base his decisions on the law and the Constitution.”
Other conservative leaders are singling out Grassley for special thanks.
“President Trump did his part by putting forward an incredibly well-qualified nominee for the Supreme Court, and now Chairman Grassley is doing his part to confirm the newest justice before the Court begins its extremely important work,” said National Rifle Association board member Ken Blackwell in an exclusive statement to Breitbart News.
“Today Senator Chuck Grassley has kept a promise to the American people by setting timely dates for the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh,” said Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund Chairman Jenny Beth Martin. “We fully support Chairman Grassley’s decision to advance the process of confirming this very qualified nominee.”
“Liberal Democrats don’t need more time to review Judge Kavanaugh’s record, they just don’t like the fact that his record shows he is fair, independent and adheres to the Constitution,” added Martin, “so they are now resorting to obstruction and gridlock to extend their fishing expedition.”
“We applaud Senator Chuck Grassley for swiftly moving along Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings so the Supreme Court seat vacated by Anthony Kennedy can be filled quickly,” agreed Concerned Women for America’s Penny Nance. She added that the “‘Women for Kavanaugh’ six-state bus tour spent time this week at Senator Grassley’s townhalls in Iowa, and we saw how enthusiastic Americans – especially women – are about Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination.
Concluding the committee hearings on September 7 allows the full Senate more than two full weeks to confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court well in advance of the Supreme Court term, which by law begins on the first Monday of October.
Ken Klukowski is senior legal editor for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @kenklukowski.