Republican moderates feel the heat on Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh

By Lawrence Hurley and Amanda Becker

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans on Thursday thwarted a Democratic bid for more documents on President Donald Trump‘s U.S. Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh that could have delayed his confirmation and set a vote on the nomination for next week.

In party-line votes, the Republicans rejected motions by Democratic senators seeking access to documents yet to be made public relating to Kavanaugh‘s service in the White House under Republican President George W. Bush more than a decade ago.

The Republican-led committee agreed to vote on the nomination on Sept. 20, with a final Senate confirmation vote likely by the end of the month.

“I don’t understand the rush to judgment. I really do not,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein, the panel’s senior Democrat.

Kavanaugh, a conservative federal appeals court judge nominated by Trump to the lifetime position on the high court, made no major missteps in two days of questioning by senators during his confirmation hearing last week.

Democrats have said they want to learn more about whether Kavanaugh played a significant role in controversial policy debates in the Bush White House, including those relating to the treatment of detainees held after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Kavanaugh worked in the White House from 2001 to 2006.

Trump‘s fellow Republicans control the Senate by a narrow margin. With no sign yet of any Republicans planning to vote against Kavanaugh, he seems poised to win confirmation despite Democratic opposition.

(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham)

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