This Week in Politics: Kavanaugh joins the Supreme Court, Rod Rosenstein meets with lawmakers
The chaos in the political world could die down a bit this week, as the tumultuous confirmation process for U.S. Supreme Court now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh has come to an end.
Kavanaugh will officially join the Supreme Court this week after being sworn in Saturday, hearing his first Supreme Court arguments Tuesday and Wednesday.
As one political drama comes to an end, another could be beginning, as Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein meets with lawmakers — and potentially with President Donald Trump — this week after a contentious New York Times report.
Here’s what to expect from the political world in the week ahead.
U.S. Supreme Court: The court is back for the second week of its term, which will also mark the start of Kavanaugh’s lifetime appointment. After a swearing-in ceremony Saturday at the Supreme Court, Trump will hold a separate ceremonial swearing-in for Kavanaugh Monday evening. A separate formal investiture ceremony will take place at a later date.
Kavanaugh and the other justices will hear four cases this week on Tuesday and Wednesday, including cases on maritime law and legal guidance concerning robbery and burglary. The most high-profile case is Nielsen v. Preap, which concerns the Trump administration’s immigration detention practices and whether the government can detain immigrants for the duration of their immigration proceedings if they have a past criminal record. The American Civil Liberties Union is among those representing the plaintiffs in the case.
Rod Rosenstein: Rosenstein’s fate has hung in the balance since a New York Times report was published alleging Rosenstein discussed secretly recording Trump and invoking the 25th Amendment. Rosenstein has denied the allegations, saying he “never pursued or authorized recording the president and any suggestion that I have ever advocated for the removal of the president is absolutely false.”
Rosenstein was slated to meet with Trump last week to discuss the report, but that was postponed until after Kavanaugh’s confirmation. With Kavanaugh now confirmed, Rosenstein could potentially meet with Trump this week — and if Trump fires Rosenstein over the report or he steps down, the fate of Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s Russian ties could be at stake.
Rosenstein is also scheduled to discuss the report with lawmakers Thursday in an interview with a joint panel of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees, which will be part of House lawmakers’ ongoing investigation into the Justice Department and FBI’s actions in 2016 and 2017. House Republicans have not historically been a fan of Rosenstein, having previously filed articles of impeachment against him even before the Times report was published.
Congress: The House will have its final week in session this week before the midterm elections in November, while the Senate continues on after its contentious Kavanaugh vote. In addition to the House’s interview with Rosenstein, the Senate is set to hold hearings on such topics as consumer data privacy, the consideration of judicial nominees to U.S. District Courts and the military threat posed by China and Russia.
Mike Pompeo: On Monday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to China as part of a broader Asian trip. Pompeo will meet with senior officials and potentially President Xi Jinping amid the ongoing dispute between the United States and China over Trump’s trade policies and other issues, including territorial disputes over the South China Sea. Pompeo is likely to discuss China’s relationship with North Korea and its role in the ongoing effort to persuade North Korea to denuclearize during his visit; on Sunday, Pompeo met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in what he described as a “step forward” for U.S.-North Korean relations.
Trump’s agenda: The president will once again hit the campaign trail this week ahead of the midterms. As part of a pledge to visit six states within 10 days that began last week, Trump will make campaign stops this week in Council Bluffs, Iowa; Erie, Pennsylvania; Cincinnati; and Richmond, Kentucky, on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, respectively. He will also head to Orlando, Florida, Monday to deliver remarks at the annual convention for the International Associated of Chiefs of Police.