Another post in The Red Zone.
From Jeff Murphy, EP contributor
The nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to fill former Justice Kennedy’s seat will give Constitutional Conservatives a real 5-4 majority on the Supreme Court if he is confirmed. Kavanaugh is an extremely well-qualified candidate for the Court, who has 12 years of decisions on the D.C. Circuit Court, resulting in 307 cases decided; his legal and educational credentials are excellent, even apart from his judicial tenure. He shows as a model jurist in the hearings, with great command of cases, mastery of precedent, and clear understanding of the rightful scope and proper limits of judicial authority. I expect he will not be as conservative as Thomas and Alito, but he will be much more conservative than Kennedy.
Although Senators Collins and Murkowski haven’t committed to voting for him, the Democrats have little prospect of getting their votes. With Senator Kyl being appointed to McCain’s vacant seat, 51 Republican yes votes are likely, giving Kavanaugh a margin of one, with only Republican votes, since Pence can break a tie. Furthermore, I predict that Senator Manchin (D-W.Va) will vote for Kavanaugh, even if his vote is decisive. As things are, expect Senator Heitkamp (D-ND) and Donnelly (D-IN) also to vote for him, giving him a likely 54-46 confirmation, but if their two votes were to be decisive, they probably would not vote for him.
The Democrats have followed a strategy of uncivil obstructionism at the hearing that is not winning them any support on the committee or in the Senate. Their excuse is that they do not have all the voluminous documents they want, but with 12 years of his judicial decisions available, there is little need for additional documentation of his record. Far worse for the Democrats, there are continuing organized and disruptive interruptions from the audience (the troublemakers are routinely removed). This does not play well to the national audience and there are reports that some of the Democratic Senators are at least sympathetic to this activity. Nevertheless, I note that I do not expect any of these Democratic Senators to pay any political price for encouraging this kind of disruption.