Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump's choice to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, arrives for a private meeting with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, a member of the Judiciary Committee, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, July 30, 2018. Credit: J. Scott Applewhite | AP

WASHINGTON — The Senate is not planning to hold confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh until September, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said Wednesday, meaning that it is unlikely President Donald Trump’s choice to succeed Justice Anthony Kennedy will be confirmed in time for the start of the court session on Oct. 1.

Kavanaugh has been keeping a steady schedule of meetings with lawmakers in the weeks since Trump announced his nomination on July 9. On Wednesday, Kavanaugh was on Capitol Hill for meetings with seven senators.

In an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, was asked whether there is even “a 10 percent chance” that his committee will hold hearings on Kavanaugh in August.

“I don’t think so,” Grassley replied. He said that it appears “early September would be the earliest” that the hearings would take place.

“So if we could get this all done by October 1st when the Supreme Court starts its new fall session, [it] would be ideal,” Grassley said. “But I think we can get it done soon after that if we don’t get it done by October 1st.”

Senators this week have stepped up a bitter fight over documents related to Kavanaugh’s tenure as staff secretary for President George W. Bush, in a sign that the upcoming confirmation process is likely to be an acrimonious one.

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