“Dr. Christine Blasey Ford has tentatively agreed to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday about her allegations of sexual assault by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh,” reports USA Today, quoting a source with knowledge of the talks.
Postponing the hearings, which were originally rescheduled for tomorrow, will give Ford — who is reportedly uncomfortable in confined spaces and hence can’t fly — ample time to complete her journey by car from her home in Palo Alto, Calif., to Washington, D.C. But delaying the hearings until Thursday affords another benefit, this one to the congressional Democratic caucus as whole. It means that Kavanaugh, if ultimately confirmed, will be unable to take his seat on the Supreme Court when the next session begins.
Timing here is everything. The high court’s next term begins on Monday, Oct. 1. Unless Kavanaugh has been confirmed and sworn in by then, which is a virtual impossibility — holding the Ford hearings tomorrow would have been pushing it — the court will convene with its current complement of eight justices. As New York magazine’s Ed Kilgore explains in an article outlining the deadlines for Kavanaugh’s ascension to the bench, if ever:
Yes, a subsequently confirmed justice can ascend to the bench the moment she or he is cleared by the Senate. But the new justice will typically not vote on cases in which oral arguments were heard in their absence. So the longer the ninth justice is missing, the more it affects the Court’s work.
The Democrats’ ultimate goal is to deny Kavanaugh a seat on the high court altogether, but if that is unattainable they are willing to settle for the lesser objective of delaying his arrival through obstruction. Hence the entire Ford charade.
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This, Daniel Henninger writes in a must-read Wall Street Journal article, is what the Democrats have become.