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Kavanaugh Confirmation Battle Starts Early

If all goes well for Brett Kavanaugh, he should be seated on the U.S. Supreme Court by the time it opens for business in October.

The Senate Judiciary Committee set September 4 for his confirmation hearing, which should take about four days. The committee has also reviewed about 10,000 pages of judicial opinions from his tenure on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.

With politics kicking in, however, the confirmation battle is heating up. It includes a debate over documents from Kavanaugh's days as a White House lawyer more than a decade ago.

Fight for the Right

The odds favor Kavanaugh, but he is still in for a fight before the Republican-controlled Senate. The Democrats want what could be more than 1 million pages of documents from the nominees' work for George W. Bush.

Among other tasks, Kavanaugh was involved in efforts to secure Bush nominations on the federal courts. The president's nominations had stalled at a higher rate than the four previous presidents.

In the meantime, lawyers for the former president have approved 87,798 pages for release. Sen. Chuck Grassley, chair of judiciary committee, said Kavanaugh received the "most comprehensive questionnaire ever submitted to a nominee."

"At this current pace, we have plenty of time to review the rest of emails and other records that we will receive from President Bush and the National Archives," he said. "It's time for the American people to hear directly from Judge Kavanaugh."

Enough Time Left?

Sen. Dianne Feinstein said the judiciary committee set the confirmation hearing too quickly.

"It's clear that Republicans want to speed this nomination through before we know who Brett Kavanaugh is," she said. "The committee shouldn't hold a hearing before we've had a chance to review his entire record."

Timing is everything for both parties. The Republicans have a 51-49 edge in the Senate, but that could change after the midterm elections in November.

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