Democrats went on the attack against Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court, but acknowledged they are unlikely to win the war, The Hill reports. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) focused his party’s offensive on the risks that a conservative court could pose to abortion rights and affordable health care. Other Democrats labeled Kavanaugh an “extreme” pick whom Trump was motivated to nominate as protection from special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said he expects Kavanaugh to get a floor vote 65 to 70 days from now, in keeping with recent Senate precedent, and for his panel to hold confirmation hearings around Labor Day.
Democrats are calling for more time, citing the millions of documents they need to review from Kavanaugh’s time as White House staff secretary under President George W. Bush and his 12-year record on the Circuit Court of Appeals in D.C. The conservative Judicial Crisis Network said would launch a $1.4 million cable and digital ad campaign to pressure Democrats in the red states of Alabama, Indiana, North Dakota and West Virginia to back the nominee. Senate Democrats admitted it will be difficult to defeat Kavanaugh with only 49 seats in their caucus. Their goal is to inflict as much political damage on the GOP as possible ahead of the November midterm elections. “If [Republicans] keep all their votes together, there’s nothing we can do,” a Senate Democratic aide said. The aide noted that Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) have been careful to “sound positive” about Kavanaugh but have emphasized it’s still early in the process.