It’s clear now that, if Brett Kavanaugh is to be confirmed, the Senate Judiciary Committee is going to have to hold hearings on Christine Basey Ford’s claim of sexual misconduct. Without such hearings, the votes won’t be there to confirm Kavanaugh. I don’t think it’s even close.
For me, then, the case comes down to the question of how long it would take to nominate and confirm a new nominee. If there’s time to have additional hearings plus have the votes on Kavanaugh, and still confirm an alternative this year if Kavanaugh’s nomination fails, then have the hearings.
If there’s time to confirm an alternative this year but not if additional hearings take place, then the nomination should be pulled. Otherwise, the risk is too great that the Senate will not confirm Kavanaugh. In that case, under this scenario, no conservative nominee will be confirmed this year, and the Senate might be in Democratic hands next year.
If there’s not enough time to confirm a new nominee even if no hearings are held, then the Committee should hold the hearings in the hope of getting Kavanaugh confirmed. There’s really no other choice. Kavanaugh might be confirmed and, even if not, the GOP might hold the Senate.
UPDATE: A Senate source tells me:
Smart post on timing question.
For context – Gorsuch was confirmed 66 days after being announced.
Kagan was confirmed 87 days after being announced.
Sotomayor was confirmed 72 days after being announced.
If you assume we lose the Senate, the last realistic day we could spend on a nominee is probably December 23rd. After Christmas, will be too risky for Dem obstruction.
There are 99 days between now and December 23rd. I think we have a little bit of time before it’s too late to nominate another judge.
Also, if Trump nominates someone like Joan Larsen or James Ho, who was recently confirmed by this Senate, we might be able move them a bit faster. They’ve already turned in paperwork recently and gotten through committee.
MORE: It may be possible to get Kavanaugh confirmed without a public hearing and without delaying the Committee vote, which is scheduled for Thursday. Perhaps the likes of Sens. Flake and Corker would be satisfied with some sort of closed door session. This approach would avoid a circus and prevent (or at worst minimize) delay
I believe this possibility is being discussed by leadership with these Senators plus Sens. Collins and Murkowski, and maybe others.