Senate Judiciary Chair Chuck Grassley set a hopeful goal of Oct. 1 for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
On Wednesday, Grassley, a pro-life Republican from Iowa, said hearings on Kavanaugh’s confirmation will be held in September and a vote is likely in early October, USA Today reports. Republican leaders have said they plan to vote prior to the mid-term elections in November.
A federal judge, Kavanaugh has served on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for D.C. for more than a decade, where he developed an extensive record of protecting religious liberty and enforcing restrictions on abortion. Pro-life leaders believe he would do the same on the U.S. Supreme Court.
National pro-life leaders have expressed high hopes for Kavanaugh and the future of unborn babies’ rights, while abortion activists are fighting heavily against his confirmation.
Grassley expressed strong hopes that Kavanaugh will be confirmed, possibly as soon as Oct. 1.
According to the report:
Going by precedent set by previous nominees, Grassley said, it would take 65 to 80-some days from the president’s nomination to confirmation. Trump nominated Kavanaugh to the bench July 9. Grassley said, based on those numbers, it would be possible to confirm Kavanaugh before Oct. 1, when the Supreme Court starts its new fall session. He called that “ideal.” But Grassley said if the Senate can’t confirm Kavanaugh by the start of October, he expects a vote “soon after.”
Grassley said it was possible to get the hearings done earlier, but unlikely.
“The point is we need to get this done, and we will get it done early this fall so that we don’t have to worry about it being brought up in the election,” he said. The midterm election is Nov. 6.
Kavanaugh’s confirmation rests with several U.S. Senators who often are swing votes on abortion and other issues. Republicans narrowly hold the Senate with a two member majority. Two Republican Senators, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine, are being heavily lobbied by the abortion industry to oppose Kavanaugh. Both have pro-abortion voting records, but they did vote to confirm President Donald Trump’s first nominee, Neil Gorsuch, to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2017.
Other swing votes include Democrat Sens. Joe Manchin and Joe Donnelly who are moderately pro-life and voted to confirm Gorsuch last year. U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr. of Pennsylvania, who claims to be pro-life, already has said he will oppose Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
Pro-life Vice President Mike Pence can serve as a tie-breaking vote, as he has on other pro-life legislation in the past.
Kavanaugh has an extensive record of conservative decisions. In a recent, high-profile case, Kavanaugh agreed with the Trump administration that the government should not have to help facilitate abortions for illegal immigrant minors. He also ruled against the Obamacare HHS mandate that forced Hobby Lobby, Little Sisters of the Poor and other Christian-run businesses and organizations to fund drugs that may cause abortions in their employee health care plans. He recently upheld religious free speech in a case involving the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (the Metro) as well.