WASHINGTON – For eight weeks since President Donald Trump nominated him for the swing seat on the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh’s judicial record and legal philosophy has gotten lost amid disputes over his partisan past and withheld documents.
But when the Senate Judiciary Committee holds four days of hearings this week, those controversies probably will take a back seat to issues affecting millions of Americans: Abortion. Guns. Health care. And, inevitably, the president himself.
Kavanaugh, 53, will be questioned for 17 hours or more about the conservative views he espoused in more than 300 opinions and dissents over 12 years on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit – a traditional steppingstone to the Supreme Court.
For half that time, Republicans who have fawned over Kavanaugh since his nomination July 9 will call attention to his pedigree and character: Yale University and Yale Law School, three prestigious federal court clerkships, nearly a decade of public service and a reputation for open-mindedness and collegiality.