by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told senior Republicans that he will schedule Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote on a date just before the November elections if Democrats demand access to the full scope of records the judge produced in the George W. Bush administration.
Democrats are leveraging the access dispute to slow Kavanaugh’s nomination, as it is one of the few mechanisms they have to delay progress on the appointment.
Politico reports that McConnell believes scheduling a confirmation vote in immediate proximity to the midterm elections will exacerbate political pressure on embattled Democrats from red states to support Kavanaugh. …
… Democrats want access to a massive body of work Kavanaugh generated during his time in the Bush White House. The judge entered the administration as associate White House counsel, then became staff secretary until 2006. In these capacities he advised senior officials on a range of legal issues and managed the president’s paper flow. He left the executive branch following his confirmation to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
All told, Kavanaugh’s Bush-era paper trail is believed to span one million pages. He’s also written some 300 decisions on the D.C. Circuit, and an untold number of documents for Ken Starr during his tenure as independent counsel.
GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, warned Democrats against turning the Kavanaugh confirmation into a fishing expedition, and said lawmakers would review a “relevant and proportional” sample of his work product.