Durbin Tells Kavanaugh He Should Pause His Own Nomination Process

September 5, 2018

Sen. Dick Durbin (D., Ill.) suggested on Wednesday, for the second straight day, that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh should delay his own confirmation proceedings.

Durbin and Senate Democrats have called for a pause to the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on Kavanaugh until all public documents from his George W. Bush White House tenure are released, specifically from Kavanaugh's tenure as staff secretary.

Kavanaugh said it wasn't up to the nominee to make decisions on documents, but Durbin responded the amount of documents they received on him would reflect on him and his nomination.

"I think it's up to you," Durbin said, pointing at Kavanaugh. "I think it's up to you. If you said at this moment to this chairman and to this committee, 'Stop, pause, hit the pause button, I don't want any cloud or shadow over this nomination. I trust the American people. I want them to trust me. I am prepared to disclose those public documents.'"

"If you said at this moment, 'I don't want to have a cloud over this nomination, I am prepared to suggest to the committee and ask the committee humbly, please, withhold further hearings until you disclose everything,'" he added. "Why won't you do that?"

"Senator, I do not believe that is consistent with what prior nominees have done who have been in this circumstance," he said. "It's a decision for the Senate and the Executive Branch. Justice [Antonin] Scalia explained that very clearly, I thought, in his hearing."

"Are you happy with that decision?" Durbin asked.

"It's not for me to say, senator. This is a decision ... the long-term interests of the Senate and the Executive Branch, particularly the Executive Branch, are at play," Kavanaugh said.