HH: Thirty seconds, Senator Kyl. Brett Kavanaugh. I gig you about him every time you come on.
JK: I know, and in fact, excuse me for interrupting, but I raised him with Senator Specter last night when we met. I said look, there’s a bunch of other stuff we have to do, too, including getting a bunch of people confirmed for judgeships. And he said yes, we do need to do that. So yes, we need to do it. But we’re going into a holiday period here, so it’s not going to happen real soon.
Brett Kavanuagh was originally nominated by President Bush to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on July 25, 2003.
Denied a hearing and an up-or-down vote by a Republican controlled Senate for 28 months, the treatment of Kavanaugh –and of Terrance Boyle, initially nominated in May of 2001– makes a mockery of Republican statements made in the course of campaign 2004 and even before that, campaign 2002. While filibuster kept these men from their votes until May of this year, the Gang of 14 deal was supposed to have ended the atrocious treatment of judicial nominees.
That has not happened, and the continued deep freeze of these two nominees ought to remind the GOP Senate Majority of pledges made to them by Senator Specter prior to his assumption of the Chair of the Judiciary Committee. (The alleged reason for the “hold” on Kavanaugh disappeared with the elevation of Chief Justice Roberts and the senior status of Judge Harry Edwards. No matter how you count, the D.C. Circuit is operating with two vacancies –a terrible bit of management by the Senate given the importance of this court.)
Senator Frist’s presidential ambitions were badly battered by the events of the last week, but one way to recapture some esteem from GOP primary voters would be the successful imposition on the Judiciary Committee of a demand that it live up to the oft-repeated Republican pledge of an up-or-down vote for all judicial nominees.