WASHINGTON — Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley suggested Democrats are trying to delay a vote on President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick, Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
“Last week, Judge Kavanaugh sat before the Senate Judiciary Committee for well over 32 hours of statements and questions. In just the same way I handled the Gorsuch hearing, members had the opportunity to ask as many questions they wanted to ask,” Grassley (R-Iowa) said in a statement Wednesday.
He added: “Submitting this many written questions appears to be just one more effort to gum up the process. It’s unnecessary and dilatory, especially when many have already decided to vote against Judge Kavanaugh.”
The highly contentious four-day hearing ended Friday. Since that time Judiciary Committee Democrats have submitted 1,279 questions for the record on the nominee.
Throughout the hearing Kavanaugh was asked about his views on abortion, the scope of presidential power, gun control, same-sex marriage and a myriad of other issues.
Following the precedent set by previous Supreme Court nominees, Kavanaugh declined to engage in politics and maintained that answering such questions would not be appropriate because cases involving those issues could at some point come before the high court.
Republicans have said they hope Kavanaugh will be confirmed by the end of the month so he can join the high court when the new term begins on Oct. 1.
Republicans control the Senate 51-49.
Though most Democrats have said they will not vote to confirm Kavanaugh, some who are facing tough re-election contests in deep-red states have suggested they might.
Pundits say Kavanaugh likely will receive more than enough votes to be confirmed even if one or two Republicans vote no.
Kavanaugh, 53, sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. He has occupied that position since 2006.