Politics & Polls #109: What’s Next for Kavanaugh?

Oct 04 2018
By Sophie Helmers and B. Rose Kelly
Topics Politics
Source Woodrow Wilson School

Questions abound regarding what impact the recently opened FBI investigation will have on Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation process.

In this episode, Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang discuss Kavanaugh’s prior political career, recent testimony and prospects for confirmation with research journalist Marcy Wheeler.

Wheeler discusses Kavanaugh’s role in both the Ken Starr investigation of President Bill Clinton and the national security legislation of the George W. Bush administration. Wheeler also discusses her unique approach to journalism, which relies predominantly on document analysis rather than human sourcing.

Wheeler is the founder and chief administrator of the blog Empty Wheel and the author of the book “Anatomy of Deceipt: How the Bush Administration Used the Media to Sell the Iraq War and Out a Spy.” Wheeler’s work focuses primarily on issues of national security and privacy. Her writing has appeared in national publications including The Guardian and The Huffington Post.


Zelizer is the Malcolm Stevenson Forbes, Class of 1941 Professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He is also a CNN Political Analyst and columnist for the Atlantic. He is the author of several books including, most recently, "The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society," which was just awarded the DB Hardeman Prize for the Best Book on Congress. He has edited and authored 19 books on American political history and published over 700 hundred op-eds, including his popular weekly column on CNN.com.

Wang is professor of neuroscience and molecular biology at Princeton University. He is known for his books "Welcome to Your Brain" and "Welcome to Your Child's Brain" and for his founding role at the Princeton Election Consortium, a blog providing U.S. election analyses. In 2004, Wang was one of the first to aggregate U.S. presidential polls using probabilistic methods. In 2012, his statistical analysis correctly predicted the presidential vote outcome in 49 of 50 states. He has also developed new statistical standards for partisan gerrymandering. A neuroscientist, Wang's academic research focuses on the neuroscience of learning, the cerebellum, and autism.