Judge Brett Kavanaugh is currently undergoing his Senate confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee in order to be confirmed to a seat on the U. S. Supreme Court.
On June 27, Justice Anthony Kennedy announced that he would be retiring. On July 9, President Donald Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill the vacant seat. Kavanaugh is currently a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which is a very prestigious position in the federal court system.
Immediately following his nomination, there were protests from members of the Senate as well as organizations that feared Kavanaugh’s nomination could give the Supreme Court a conservative majority. This would provide an opportunity to overturn legal cases that have been precedent for decades.
When the president nominates someone for a position like the Supreme Court, it requires Senate confirmation. This happens for nominations to federal courts, heads of departments in the executive branch, and similar positions. First, Kavanaugh appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee comprised of 21 members, including 11 Republicans and 10 Democrats. The committee requested and compiled documents of previous cases and opinions that Kavanaugh has written in preparation to ask him questions on various aspects of his legal career.
What is Happening
Kavanaugh’s hearings so far have lasted over 30 hours. Pending the upcoming testimony regarding the alleged misconduct of Judge Kavanaugh, this phase of the process will soon be over. Then the committee will vote to allow the nominee to pass through to a full Senate confirmation vote. A simple majority with the full Senate (51 votes) would confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
Many questions asked during the hearings have been focused on Kavanaugh’s personal beliefs. It has been understood for a long time that it is not a judge’s position to make decisions based on their own personal views but on the basis of what the law says as noted by the American Bar Association. Additionally, adding to the proceeding were over 200 arrests of protestors that stood up to disrupt the proceedings until they were escorted, sometimes carried out of the room by the Capitol Police.
Overall, it remains an intense confirmation process. Those unsatisfied with Kavanaugh since his nomination have not changed their minds. In contrast, those who championed him before the hearings continue advocating for his confirmation.