The Supreme Court starts its new term today without a ninth justice. But a full Senate vote looms on Judge Kavanaugh this week, after his nomination was advanced out of the Judiciary Committee Friday. But the Senate is waiting on a new supplemental FBI background check set to be completed by Friday (or earlier). The court’s term features a few petitions over abortion, as well as a challenge to a peace memorial in the shape of a cross that sits on government land.
If the White House and Senate Republicans get their way, Judge Brett Kavanaugh – who is fighting sexual assault allegations in his bid to take Kennedy’s seat – would be the 114th member of the Supreme Court. His impact could be felt right away, and for decades to come.
“He will assume a position of great importance, if not quite the same level as Justice Kennedy had” if he’s confirmed, said Thomas Dupree, a leading appellate attorney and former Bush Justice Department official. “A lot of times the judge you think you get doesn’t turn out to be the judge you actually do get. But in Judge Kavanaugh’s case I think we have a pretty good idea of where he’s going to come down on some of these issues.”