Kavanaugh supreme court nomination not 'normal', says Senate Democrat

Kenneth Starr testifies. Brett Kavanaugh to his right

Kenneth Starr testifies. Brett Kavanaugh to his right

With his decades of work as a Washington power player - as a Bush lawyer, White House Staff Secretary, and then Appeals Court judge - Kavanaugh sports an extensive paper trail, a history Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell anxious about before President Trump nominated him.

The eventual full Senate vote on Kavanaugh is expected to be close, with Republicans holding a narrow 50-49 majority with the death of Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona.

Democrats are expressing alarm over the Trump White House decision to claim executive privilege and withhold some 100,000 pages of documents from Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh's time with the George W. Bush administration.

"Democrats have more than enough information to understand that this is a highly qualified jurist that should be the next Supreme Court justice", Wisconsin U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, a Republican, said in an interview on ABC's "This Week". "We ask, of course, Judge Kavanaugh, what do you think?"

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Kavanaugh is likely to take the same approach when grilled on other hot-button issues, including abortion, affirmative action, federal regulatory authority, the death penalty, immigration and voting rights. "We're going to have a hearing and there's no drama in this hearing", he said.

Most independent Supreme Court analysts predict, based on hundreds of decisions that Kavanaugh has written at the appellate court level, that Kavanaugh, if confirmed, would most often side with conservatives, rather than provide the swing vote that Kennedy often did on key issues favoring liberal interpretations of USA law.

To prepare for the hearing, Kavanaugh has participated in private rehearsals coordinated by the White House Counsel's Office, which have included more than a dozen participants - government lawyers, conservative academics, some of his former law clerks and even several senators.

Most Senate Democrats have said they'd like to delay the nomination, but they don't have the power to do so.

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Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, said as long as Judge Kavanaugh doesn't bungle the hearings, he will be confirmed with some Democrats joining Republicans.

Because of the razor-thin margin in the Senate, the focus is on the 10 Democrats running for re-election in 2018 in states that Trump won just two years ago. Republicans have not requested documents from Kavanaugh's time as staff secretary and have only requested papers from when Kavanaugh worked as a White House lawyer.

On NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday morning, Klobuchar said the Kavanaugh confirmation process is "not normal".

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