by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The Delay, Delay, Delay strategy to stop Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court is taking the predictable course. Once they got Republicans to agree to the one-week delay, Democrats immediately started complaining that the time limit was arbitrary — that the FBI should have whatever time is necessary “to get the job done.”
Therein lies the issue, which Democrats have obfuscated from the start. “The job” is not the FBI’s job, it is the Senate’s; and the job is not to conduct a criminal investigation, it is to develop enough information that the Senate can responsibly exercise its constitutional advice-and-consent duty.
Thus understood, “the job” is already done. The Senate has more information about this nominee than it has had about any judicial nominee in history. …
… There is already more information than is needed — mountains more — for the Senate to vote.
What is arbitrary is not the time limit on the FBI investigation. It is the suggestion that the task at hand is the FBI’s, and that the bureau must “complete its investigation” as if a criminal probe were underway. No matter how many witnesses it interviews, the FBI is not going to make a judgment about Kavanaugh’s fitness. That is the Senate’s task; for the FBI to do it would usurp the Senate’s constitutional role.