Lengthy days of questioning proceeded mostly along predictable party lines
Following lengthy days of questioning last week by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court appears likely.
President Donald Trump nominated Kavanaugh on July 9 to fill the seat left by the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy. Kavanaugh has spent the past 12 years as a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
He also served as an aide to president George Bush and worked for the Independent Counsel Ken Starr, who ran the investigation that led to president Bill Clinton’s impeachment. Kavanaugh graduated from Yale Law School.
For more than 20 hours, Republican and Democratic senators questioned Kavanaugh on cases and issues such as the affordable care act, presidential powers, reproductive rights, gun rights and voting rights. However, during the questioning, Kavanaugh revealed little about his personal views, and instead relied heavily on answers that adhered strictly to matters of law. Past nominees have largely adhered to the same tactic.
“I really don’t think there have been a lot of surprises so far,” said Alan Chen, a professor at the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law. “It’s pretty much going according to script: Republicans are asking softballs and Democrats are trying to poke through the veneer and trying to get some real conversations going but haven’t been very successful.”