Sen. Charles Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told Hugh Hewitt today that there almost certainly will be no confirmation hearing for Brett Kavanaugh until September. Hugh asked Grassley whether there is even “a 10 percent chance” that his committee will hold hearings on Kavanaugh in August. “I don’t think so,” Grassley replied. He said it appears “early September would be the earliest” the hearings will take place.
The question becomes whether Kananaugh can be confirmed in time to take his place on the Supreme Court when its new term begins on the first Monday in October — October 1 of this year. Grassley told Hugh that this “would be ideal, but I think we can get it done soon after that if we don’t get it done by October 1st.”
I’m told that John Roberts’ hearing began on September 12, 2005 and that he was confirmed and appointed on September 29. Thus, even if Kavanaugh’s hearing doesn’t occur in early September, there’s still a chance he could be confirmed by the end of the month, and thus ready to hear cases when the Court’s term begins.
Kavanaugh’s confirmation process will be even more contentious than Roberts’ was. But Senate leadership might still be able to steer it on a similar timetable.
UPDATE: Going back further in history, I’m informed that Justice Souter’s hearing started September 17 and he was confirmed October 2. Justice O’Connor’s hearing started September 9 and she was confirmed September 21.