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Senate Consideration of Supreme Court Nominee Kavanaugh Expected to Extend into October

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According to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA), the Committee will hold confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh sometime in September with the goal of a floor vote by October 1. Grassley stated he would prefer a Kavanaugh confirmation hearing in early September, since it may take the Committee up to two weeks to vote on the nomination, and he would like to confirm Kavanaugh before the Supreme Court begins its new session in October. However, the National Archives and Records Administration may take until the end of October to complete its review of all the documents – estimated to total more than 900,000 pages – that Senate Republicans requested on the Supreme Court nominee, which may complicate the timeline for a speedy confirmation process.

President Trump nominated Kavanaugh after Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement on June 27. Justice Kennedy, who spent 30 years on the Supreme Court, served as a swing vote on the court for a number of key 5 to 4 decisions over the past many years. Judge Kavanaugh, who is widely considered to be further to the right on most issues than Justice Kennedy, could bring the Court to the right on a number of issues. Assuming Judge Kavanaugh is confirmed to the Supreme Court, experts expect Chief Justice John Roberts to serve as the swing vote on the Court moving forward.

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