Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court Confirmation: Get Caught Up

It’s been a busy week. Here’s a distilled version of what’s happened since President Trump introduced his court nominee to the world on Monday night.

Brett Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.CreditErin Schaff for The New York Times

What happens next?

There are two public relations campaigns happening now. The first is from the White House, working to convince the Senate to confirm Judge Kavanaugh. The second is from members of Congress (or candidates who would like to be), who are staring down a potentially divisive moment less than four months before the crucial midterms.

The White House has lined up dozens of Judge Kavanaugh’s former clerks to vouch for him as he meets with senators on the Hill; Times reporters looked at how the battle lines are being drawn through the Senate chamber.

The court vacancy could help Republicans keep control of the Senate in November, while simultaneously helping the Democrats seize control of the House, writes Carl Hulse, the chief Washington correspondent for The Times. Read that story here.

To understand such a seemingly contradictory election outcome, Times politics reporters Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin spoke this week to candidates who were staking their claims around the nomination process. “The prospect of an election-year abortion debate is far more unsettling to Republicans, and could fire up already-energized liberals while cleaving centrist women from the G.O.P.,” they wrote. Read that story here.

The confirmation fight over President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee is underway. Here is what Judge Kavanaugh has said about the justices he admires, Roe v. Wade and the presidency.Published OnCreditImage by T.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times

But when is the hearing?

No one knows yet. The White House would like a confirmation vote before the court’s new term begins on Oct. 1.

Where does Judge Kavanaugh stand on [insert your topic here]?

Charlie Savage, a legal policy correspondent for The Times, broke down Judge Kavanaugh’s years of legal rulings here. He looked at the decisions on abortion rights, religion, gun rights, climate regulations and other issues to explore what sort of justice the judge might turn out to be.

One key piece of Judge Kavanaugh’s writings has been the subject of much discussion this week: he once argued President Clinton could be impeached for misleading the public. He has since retreated from that argument, and Wednesday’s episode of “The Daily” explored that change of heart; listen to it here.

Erin McCann is a New York-based editor focusing on breaking news and internet ephemera. She previously worked at The Guardian. @mccanner

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