U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding the president’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Judge Brett Kavanaugh:
“Today, the Judiciary Committee began its hearings to consider Judge Brett Kavanaugh for confirmation as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. One of the distinguished professionals asked to introduce Judge Kavanaugh is Lisa Blatt, a prominent and accomplished Supreme Court litigator. She also happens to be a self-described ‘liberal Democrat and feminist.’
“Nevertheless, in a recent op-ed, Ms. Blatt laid out the case for why Democrats should support Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination. Just last week, she spearheaded a letter that 41 veteran appellate advocates wrote to the committee. They said: ‘Based on our experience with Judge Kavanaugh and his work over 12 years of distinguished judicial service, we are confident that he possesses the character, temperament and intellect that will make him an asset to our Nation’s highest Court.’
“Our colleagues on the committee also received a letter from Mr. Robert Bennett. Like Ms. Blatt, he’s also a Democrat. In fact, he served as the personal lawyer to one of America’s most prominent Democrats, President Bill Clinton, during a particularly acrimonious time in recent history. And yet, Mr. Bennett concluded in a letter to our colleagues that Judge Kavanaugh is, quote, ‘the most qualified person any Republican President could possibly have nominated.’
“He went on to say, quote: ‘Were the Senate to fail to confirm Brett, it would not only mean passing up the opportunity to confirm a great jurist, but it would also undermine civility in politics.’ Those familiar with Judge Kavanaugh’s judicial record and temperament come away impressed. So has the American Bar Association, an organization that our Democrat friends have called ‘the gold standard’ in evaluating judicial nominees. They deemed Judge Brett Kavanaugh to be unanimously well-qualified to serve on the Supreme Court.
“Many of our Democratic colleagues have been determined to oppose Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination, no matter what, since the day he was nominated. And some of our Democratic colleagues opposed him — and anyone else — before he was nominated. But they are running out of options. They can’t find any substantive reasons why he doesn’t deserve confirmation. That explains the hyperventilation and orchestrated antics at this morning’s hearing, where they talked about almost anything besides his distinguished record. Our colleagues keep falling back on the same process complaints that have failed to persuade anyone for weeks and weeks.
“Let’s review the facts. The Judiciary Committee has received half a million pages of materials with respect to this nomination. This is by far — by far — the most materials provided in support of a Supreme Court nomination in our nation’s history. In fact, it is more material than was produced for the last five Supreme Court nominations combined. And of course, this record-shattering tower of Executive Branch documents is all in addition Judge Kavanaugh’s 12-plus-year record on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
“Again, that judicial record was something our Democrat friends said was the best way to evaluate a judge, back when it was the Supreme Court nominee of a Democratic president whom the Senate was considering. Judge Kavanaugh has issued over 300 opinions from what the legal community widely considers the second-highest bench in the country. By any objective standard, by any fair metric, any Senator who is actually willing to give Judge Kavanaugh full and fair consideration is amply prepared to do so.
“But of course, many of our Democratic colleagues haven’t been interested in doing that. As I said, many Senate Democrats made up their minds instantly upon Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination that they would oppose him no matter what. No matter his qualifications. No matter how many opinions are in the public record, or how many pages of documents were provided.
“Many Senate Democrats were never going to give this nominee a fair hearing. There could be a million pages of documents. Or 5 million. Or 10 million. Nothing would change the fact that one Democrat who serves on the Judiciary Committee declared she would oppose any nominee — before Judge Kavanaugh was even announced. Nothing would change the fact that, the very same night he was announced, two more Democrats on the Judiciary Committee publicly announced they’d finished their consideration and would vote against him.
“Nothing would change the fact that, the very next morning, the Democratic Leader stood up and said ‘I will oppose him with everything I’ve got’ — and more and more Democrats have followed suit. Our colleagues will have the opportunity to thoroughly examine this nominee during this week’s hearings. And, afterwards, he’ll receive a vote here on the floor. No amount of partisan opposition or political theater will stop the Senate from doing its job.”