WASHINGTON – Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh are off to a contentious kickoff, and one GOP lawmaker his calling out his Democratic colleagues for what he views as their disingenuous attempts to frustrate the process.
In what critics are calling a delay tactic, Democrats have been demanding countless pages of documents regarding the 53-year-old judge's previous government service.
As of Monday, an additional 42,000 pages of documents were released to the Senate. Citing presidential privilege, the White House declined to release 100,000 of Kavanaugh's records from the Bush White House
"The Senate was just given an additional 42,000 pages of Kavanaugh documents the NIGHT BEFORE his confirmation hearing," an irate Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted Monday. "This underscores just how absurd this process is. Not a single senator will be able to review these records before tomorrow."
But Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) is suggesting it is Democrats that are being absurd.
"Leader Schumer's not telling the full truth on this matter, so let's get a few facts out there," the Nebraska lawmaker told CBN's Pat Robertson on "The 700 Club" Tuesday.
"Judge Kavanaugh has had more papers, more total documents, submitted from his record than the last five nominees to the Supreme Court combined," Sasse pointed out.
Regarding Kavanaugh's time with the Bush administration, Sasse argues those documents aren't germane to the confirmation proceedings.
"Those are not Brett Kavanaugh's documents; those are George W. Bush's documents and those documents were not things that Kavanaugh had a decision-making role on," he said. "So, Democrats are trying to imply that there's been obstruction because we don't have every journal entry that George W. Bush ever wrote."
What is pertinent, Sasse argues, is Kavanaugh's actual judicial record.
"The guy has served for three straight years on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals," he told Robertson. "He's authored more than 300 opinions – more than a hundred of them have been cited by his peers on 200 other judges on other federal courts. That's a pretty good way to get a sense of what his judicial philosophy is."
Sasse predicts that Kavanaugh, a constitutional originalist, will have a significant impact on the high court.
"I think when judge Kavanaugh replaces Justice Kennedy on the bench, there are going to be a number of places where he's going to be in line with Kennedy. Kennedy was a big First Amendment defender; we've seen that in the Colorado case of the baker trying to be compelled," he noted.
"But I think, in addition, you're going to see Judge Kavanaugh more resistant than Kennedy was to trying to think about the evolution mores in society," he said.
Despite what is proving to be contentious confirmation proceedings, analysts expect the 53-year-old nominee to be confirmed and seated on the bench by the beginning of the high court's new term, Oct. 1.