A Democrat senator suggested that if President Donald Trump withdraws Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination, Democrats could hold the Supreme Court seat open until after the 2020 election.
“The world does not come to an end because we don’t [approve] all of the nominees,” Sen. Mazie Hirono said on Politico’s “Off Message” podcast last week, when asked about a political “gridlock” causing a delay until 2020.
“I think we’ve had those kind of vacancies before,” Hirono added, referencing the possibility of a Democratic majority in Congress. “We certainly had over a one-year vacancy with Merrick Garland.”
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Hirono’s comments come in the same week as an accusation of sexual misconduct levelled at the Supreme Court nominee by Christine Blasey Ford, a California professor of psychology in Palo Alto.
Ford alleges, per The Washington Post, that at a house party in the 1980s, Kavanaugh forced himself on her and tried to remove her clothes. She has agreed to testify to the Senate Judiciary Committee this Thursday.
When asked whether or not the Senate would confirm Kavanaugh in light of the accusation, Hirono told the podcast, “I don’t know … think it’s more of a question [now].”
Asked about other potential nominees Trump might pick if Kavanaugh withdrew, Hirono said, “There are plenty of people on the Federalist Society and Heritage Foundation’s list. I don’t think we’d be looking to the Federalist Society or Heritage Foundation for people that we can support.”
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Hirono told the podcast she hoped the Senate would receive a nominee other than Kavanaugh, “somebody much more acceptable.”
“I don’t mind a judge being conservative, as long as I feel they don’t have some kind of ideological axe to grind, which Trump appointees have.”
“My hope is that if Kavanaugh does not get confirmed there will be much more of a meeting of the minds and that we’ll be able to get back to an advice and consent process,” she added.