August 1, 2018
If the Senate votes on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination by the end of September, it will be no “rush to judgment,” contrary to the messaging coming from the Democratic side of the aisle. According to the Heritage Foundation, the nine Supreme Court nominees that have gone before the Senate in the past thirty years, going back to George H.W. Bush’s nomination of now-retired Justice David Souter in 1990, have averaged seventy-one days until confirmation. If Judge Kavanaugh’s vote comes by the end of September, as expected, the process will have taken 83 days from President Trump’s announcement of Kavanaugh’s nomination on July 9th.
For Kavanaugh to be confirmed according to the ordinary course of consideration, then, his full Senate vote would have to come by September 18th – a time frame that currently seems unlikely given his opposition’s full-throated protests that the White House is sandbagging the process by refusing to give them millions of pages of documents that have passed through Kavanaugh’s hands in his career that they didn’t ask for the first time he came before the Senate twelve years ago.
On the other hand, maybe it is par for the course – for a Republican nominee, at least. The five Republican Supreme Court nominees that have come before the Senate since David Souter have averaged 75 days from nomination, while the four Democratic nominees have averaged only 66 days.
Tomorrow, we’ll revisit those Democratic document requests and the responses of Republican leadership, and ask whether they are reasonable and productive for this process, or if Democrats are the ones sandbagging this nominee.