The Atlantic

How Kavanaugh’s Last Confirmation Hearing Could Haunt Him

Two Democrats feel that the Supreme Court nominee misled them about his awareness of terror-detainee policy during the Bush administration.
Source: Larry Downing / Reuters

The last time Brett Kavanaugh appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee, in May 2006, the country was slowly learning about some of the extraordinary steps the George W. Bush administration had taken as part of its anti-terrorism efforts—from warrantless wiretapping to torture of detainees.

Kavanaugh had spent five years in the White House, and was nominated for a lifetime appointment on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Democratic senators wanted to know what he knew about those controversial programs. The answers that Kavanaugh gave could complicate Senate approval of his nomination to the Supreme Court.

Although Kavanaugh is a favorite for confirmation, Republicans hold a razor-thin margin in the Senate. Before Trump nominated Kavanaugh, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned that he might be tough to confirm because of his long written record, ripe for critics to pick over. Although Kavanaugh’s views on have received the most attention so far, but Bush-administration policy on detainees could be another bruising topic.

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