Brett Kavanaugh vote: Republicans block Democrats' demands for subpoenas, set date on Supreme Court nominee

A deeply divided Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday set a vote for Sept. 20 on Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court after Republicans blocked Democrats' attempts to subpoena documents and witnesses.The action keeps Kavanaugh on schedule to win Senate confirmation before the Oct. 1 start of the court's 2018 term, despite millions of pages of withheld documents and Democrats' claims that he evaded their questions and misled the committee about his actions as a top White House official under President George W. Bush.

The Democrats sought committee action to subpoena documents relating to Kavanaugh's three years as Bush's staff secretary from 2003-06, which were not requested by Republicans in advance of his confirmation hearing last week. They also sought subpoenas for additional records withheld by the Trump administration, records relating to Kavanaugh's views on presidential power, and witnesses who might corroborate or dispute his testimony.

“There’s a march to judgment that isn’t necessary and a lack of information on which to make a determination," Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, the committee's top Democrat, said. "What in Judge Kavanaugh’s records are Republicans hiding?”

The panel voted 11-10 on six Democratic motions to issue subpoenas, and committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said the first vote on Kavanaugh's nomination will occur next Thursday. If approved by the committee, the nomination would go to the Senate floor as early as the following week.
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