Bench Memos

Legal Times on Kavanaugh Nomination

Legal Times has an interesting (subscription-only) article on D.C. Circuit nominee (and White House staff secretary) Brett Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh’s nomination has been pending since July 2003, and his confirmation hearing took place 23 months ago. But Senate Democrats, seeking ever more delay, are now calling for a second hearing on Kavanaugh. Don’t expect Chairman Specter to cave in to their unreasonable request.

There is at least one statement in the article that warrants clarification. The article asserts that Kavanaugh was “left out of the ‘Gang of 14′ deal last summer.” It is true that the Gang of 14 agreement (the text of which is available here) did not specifically address Kavanaugh. Nor, however, did it include him among the pending nominees as to whom signatories made no commitment on cloture. Indeed, because shenanigans by Senate Democrats required that Kavanaugh’s nomination be submitted anew in January 2006, Kavanaugh arguably ought to be covered by the terms of that agreement (namely, no filibuster except in “extraordinary circumstances”) applicable to “future nominations”. In any event, the Gang of 14 agreement should smooth rather than impede Kavanaugh’s path to confirmation.

Ed Whelan — Ed Whelan is a leading commentator on nominations to the Supreme Court and the lower courts and on issues of constitutional law.

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