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Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearing Begins A Week From Today

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley has announced Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing will start on September 4, just a week from today.

"He's met with dozens of senators who have nothing but positive things to say," Grassley said in a statement reported by CNN. "At this current pace, we have plenty of time to review the rest of emails and other records Brett Kavanaughthat we will receive from President Bush and the National Archives. It's time for the American people to hear directly from Judge Kavanaugh at his public hearing."

Grassley said he expects the hearing to last three or four days.

With the death of Arizona Republican Senator John McCain Republicans hold a mere 50 to 49 majority in the Senate. Kavanaugh needs a majority, or 50 votes to be confirmed assuming all Senators are present, so the GOP cannot afford to lose any votes and hope to advance Kavanaugh's nomination if no Democrats support him.

That said, reports CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent Manu Raju, Kavanaugh supporters are targeting several Democratic senators up for re-election this year from states Trump won in 2016 as possible "yes" votes.

However, the Senate’s Democratic leaders show no sign of giving their vulnerable members any leeway to vote for Kavanaugh.

Democrats have pushed for access to government records associated with Kavanaugh, who served as White House staff secretary under George W. Bush as well as an associate counsel in the Office of Independent Counsel during the investigation into President Bill Clinton's conduct.

CNN reports Democrats have demanded all the documents from Kavanaugh's time at the White House for review ahead of his confirmation, which Republicans have called a "fishing expedition" and a "delay tactic" for a nominee who some Republicans say some Democrats have no intention of considering.

"Every day, Republican obstruction of Kavanaugh's record gets worse and worse," Mr. Raju reports New York Senator Charles Schumer, the Senate minority leader said on Thursday. "Not only is a massively conflicted Republican lawyer, who previously worked for Judge Kavanaugh, cherry-picking what documents the Senate Judiciary Committee can see, he is now telling the Committee what the rest of the Senate and the American public can see -- and Republicans are playing along."

Schumer has suggested Judge Kavanaugh misled him during their hour-and-a-half one-on-one meeting at the Capitol and claimed that Kavanaugh had failed to offer assurances that abortion rights would not be overturned if he is confirmed.

"The judge either wouldn't answer, or couldn't remember key moments of his tenure. He acknowledged being part of the White House's response to the Enron case, but couldn't provide any details about what he did. ... His lack of recollection on almost everything didn’t ring true," Schumer said according to reporting by Fox News’ Gregg Re, referring to Kavanaugh's five years as a lawyer in the Bush administration.

Schumer’s attack on Kavanaugh’s memory about events that happened 17 years ago is especially comical given Hillary Clinton’s notoriously bad memory about her off-the-record server and Benghazi, matters that occurred a year or mere months before she was questioned, but we digress.

Fox reports Democrats have expressed frustration with how they were receiving documents they requested from Kavanaugh's lengthy tenure in Washington. Specifically, they have complained that most of the released documents have come from Bush's lawyer, Bill Burck, who is vetting them, rather than the traditional process conducted by the National Archives. They said Burck could well be withholding potentially embarrassing items.

Schumer and other top Democrats last week threatened to sue the National Archives if more documents are not handed over pursuant to their Freedom of Information Act request.

According to Mr. Re’s reporting for Fox, Republicans have allowed the release of well over 100,000 pages of Kavanaugh's papers, including papers from his time as a White House counsel to Bush, his later work as an appellate judge and his earlier time as aide to Starr, who investigated Clinton.

More are on track to be released. Democrats want the release of all Kavanaugh documents, including from his three years as White House staff secretary, which Republicans have refused to request from the National Archives. The Archives says those alone could total several million pages.

We think the document requests are a side show and a delaying tactic. Schumer has made it clear that he plans to make Judge Kavanaugh’s views on abortion “rights” the main axis of attack during the hearings, and with Hillary Clinton joining the fray, abortion “rights” is what Democrats will make the hearing all about.

“The next Supreme Court justice could shift the court to the right for decades, with devastating consequences for reproductive rights, health care, workers’ rights, and voting rights,” Clinton tweeted last Sunday.

She then reposted a message from the group Unite for Justice which said, “On August 26, all across the country, Americans will stand united in commitment to our freedom and our future to demand that the U.S. Senate stop Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination for a lifelong appointment to the Supreme Court.”

“People are mobilizing across the country today to #StopKavanaugh. Find an event near you,” Clinton added to the comment. 

Clinton’s tweet picked up where Sen. Schumer left off according to Mr. Re’s reporting, "I understand that the judge told other members today that he considered Roe v. Wade settled law… He did not say that to me," claimed Schumer.

Schumer continued: "I asked Judge Kavanaugh the appropriate question: I asked him if he agreed that Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood were correctly decided. He would not say yes. That should send shivers down the spine of any American who believes in reproductive freedom. ... He would not give me any reassurance that he believed Roe or Casey were correctly decided or should be left alone."

"Judge Kavanaugh has a special obligation to make his views on this topic clear," Fox reports Schumer said, dismissing what he said were Kavanaugh's comments during their meeting that all justices would say Roe was settled law. "No other president has nominated someone to the Supreme Court after saying, 'I will only nominate someone who overturns Roe v. Wade.'"

While President Trump campaigned on nominating pro-life justices to the Supreme Court, there’s no evidence he asked Judge Kavanaugh to commit to overturning Roe v. Wade.

Leaders of the anti-abortion movement believe they are closer than they have been in 50 years to achieving their goals, and we see this political moment — a White House that advances anti-abortion priorities, a Supreme Court poised to tilt in a conservative direction, and a possible third Supreme Court seat to fill while President Trump is still in office — as a rare opportunity, and one we have worked for years to create.

We urge our CHQ friends and readers to call their Senators to demand that they vote AYE to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States. Don’t wait, the toll-free Capitol Switchboard is (1-866-220-0044) we urge you to pick up your phone and call your Senators TODAY.

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