‘What more do they need to know to vote ‘no’?’ Dems submit record number of questions to Kavanaugh

Chris White, DCNF

Republicans accused Democrats of sending President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee a record number of questions to delay Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s potential confirmation.

Grassley. Image: Screen shot.

Lawmakers submitted 1,278 questions to Kavanaugh following his week-long confirmation hearing. The number is more than the combined total for every Supreme Court justice in U.S. history, according to Iowa Republican Sen. Charles Grassley.

“Submitting this many written questions appears to be just one more effort to gum up the process. It’s unnecessary and dilatory, especially when many have already decided to vote against Judge Kavanaugh. What more do they need to know to vote ‘no’?” Grassley told reporters Wednesday.

Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, for one, asked 241 questions of the nominee, while GOP members asked nine, eight from Grassley and one from Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona. Former President Barack Obama’s two nominees — Justice Elena Kagan and Justice Sonia Sotomayor — received fewer questions during their confirmation processes.

Kavanaugh of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit is expected to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy after he announced his retirement in June. Republicans were expecting Democrats to heavily scrutinize Kennedy’s replacement, namely because of his position as the court’s swing vote. 

The squabbling over the process is not lost on the American public. More than 68 percent of respondents in a Quinnipiac poll conducted in 2017 said the process of confirming Supreme Court justices has become too partisan. Only 13 percent of people said the partisanship was about right.

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