Specter Sells Out on Judicial Nominee

Disappointing news to report from Capitol Hill: Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter (R.-Pa.) has caved in to Democrat demands to give D.C. Circuit Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh a second hearing.

What’s most troubling about the news is that a second hearing won’t do anything to change the vote of a single Democrat on the committee. However, it will give them an opportunity to drag Kavanaugh through the mud.

Here’s an excerpt from the AP report:

Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter on Thursday granted Democrats a hearing to question White House aide and judicial nominee Brett Kavanaugh on his role in the administration’s secret wiretapping program, its torture policy and any relationship with convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

The move put off, for now, a repeat of last year’s parliamentary showdown over President Bush’s nominees.

“I don’t want to place the Senate in the position we were in a year ago at this time,” Specter, R-Pa., said.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R.-Tenn.), whose aides last week said a second hearing was unlikely, expressed frustration with the decision. Here’s his statement:

"The Judiciary Committee should proceed expeditiously to complete the second hearing and report out Brett Kavanaugh.  After three years of waiting, Brett Kavanaugh deserves a fair up-or-down vote without further delay.  We remain on track for floor action by Memorial Day."

Sen. John Cornyn (R.-Tex.), a member of the Judiciary Committee, said the delay wouldn’t change a single Democrat’s vote on the committee. Here’s Cornyn’s statement:

"I predict that a second hearing on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination will accomplish two things: it will give the nominee a chance to further display his outstanding legal and academic credentials, and quiet the unwarranted criticism of the process, focusing the debate on the nomination’s merits. That debate overwhelmingly favors confirmation.

"However, I don’t believe the call for yet another hearing is serious; I don’t believe it will change any minds. And it’s difficult to take these calls for more debate seriously when the nomination has been pending before the Senate for three years and critics still don’t know the basic facts.

"Unfortunately, from all indications, the Democrats are preparing for a battle reminiscent of the undignified and unwarranted attacks on Justice Alito. We won that battle and we’re ready to fight and win this one."