(Washington, DC) U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today announced that the hearing for Judge Brett Kavanaugh to serve as an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States will begin on September 4. Today’s announcement follows the largest cumulative production of Executive Branch material ever received in the course of evaluating a Supreme Court nominee.
Grassley expects the hearing to last 3 to 4 days. Opening statements by Judiciary Committee members and the nominee will occur on Tuesday, September 4. The questioning of Judge Kavanaugh will begin on Wednesday, September 5. Testimony by those who know Judge Kavanaugh the best, outside legal experts, and the American Bar Association is expected to follow.
“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. My team has already reviewed every page of the over 4,800 pages of judicial opinions Judge Kavanaugh wrote, over 6,400 pages of opinions he joined, more than 125,000 pages of records produced from his White House legal service, and over 17,000 pages in response to the most comprehensive questionnaire ever submitted to a nominee. He’s a mainstream judge. He has a record of judicial independence and applying the law as it is written. He’s met with dozens of senators who have nothing but positive things to say. At this current pace, we have plenty of time to review the rest of emails and other records that 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.
This announcement comes after the committee has received the largest number of Executive Branch records ever for the consideration of a Supreme Court nominee. As of today, the committee has received more than 184,000 pages of records from Judge Kavanaugh’s work as a White House lawyer and his work for Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr. The committee also expects to receive hundreds of thousands of additional pages of Executive Branch documents. These records will be reviewed in addition to the 307 cases in which Judge Kavanaugh wrote an opinion as an appeals court judge, the hundreds more opinions he joined, and the more than 17,500 pages of material he provided in response to the committee’s bipartisan questionnaire.
A September 4 start date for the hearing is 57 days after the announcement of Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination. This extends the timeline that was set for the committee’s consideration of Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Neil Gorsuch. Hearings for these nominees occurred 48-49 days after the president announced their nominations.
Conservative groups responded to the announcement:
“I am looking forward to the hearings and the final confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court,” Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said. “We need more people on the bench who share his judicial philosophy that judges should interpret, not make the law.”
“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. Concerned Women for America’s ‘Women for Kavanaugh’ six-state bus tour spent time this week at Senator Grassley’s town halls in Iowa, and we saw how enthusiastic Americans – especially women – are about Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination,” Penny Nance, CEO President of Concerned Women for America, said.
“While those on the left will cry that the timing is short, Judge Kavanaugh’s name was listed last November on President Trump’s short list of possible nominees if a Supreme Court vacancy should occur. They have had additional months over the summer to gather documents, read cases, and interview Judge Kavanaugh himself. And just because it’s an election year, it does not mean that Judge Kavanaugh cannot – or should not – be confirmed. There have been at least four Justices nominated and confirmed in midterm election years.
“It’s time for the public to hear from President Trump’s nominee and learn first-hand just how well-qualified he is to hold the position of a U.S. Supreme Court Justice,” Nance added.
“Obviously, these hearings are just the beginning of the confirmation process. Democrats’ attempts to obstruct Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation will be on display. Senate Republicans must stand united and support Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination,” Adam Brandon, President of FreedomWorks, stated. “We have a unique opportunity to change the ideological makeup of the Supreme Court for a generation. We can’t let this opportunity pass us by. We look forward to continuing our support for Kavanaugh throughout this process.”