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Senate Republicans Praise Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh

US Judge Brett Kavanaugh speaks after being nominated by US President Donald Trump (L) to the Supreme Court in the East Room of the White House on July 9, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP)
SAUL LOEB / AFP

Senate Republicans largely praised Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Monday. Across the political spectrum, they praised the president for nominating District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Senate Republicans maintain a slim majority of 51-49 in the Senate, making any nomination to the Supreme Court a contentious battle. Republicans can only afford to lose one vote and have Vice President Mike Pence break the tie in the Senate, unless red state Senate Democrats break rank with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and vote for Kavanaugh.

SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said in a statement on Monday:

President Trump has made a superb choice. Judge Brett Kavanaugh is an impressive nominee who is extremely well qualified to serve as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Judge Kavanaugh has sterling academic credentials. He is widely admired for his intellect, experience, and exemplary judicial temperament. He has won the respect of his peers and is highly regarded throughout the legal community. And his judicial record demonstrates a firm understanding of the role of a judge in our Republic: Setting aside personal views and political preferences in order to interpret our laws as they are written.

I look forward to meeting with Judge Kavanaugh and to the Senate’s fair consideration of his nomination, beginning with the work of Chairman Grassley and the Judiciary Committee. This is an opportunity for Senators to put partisanship aside and consider his legal qualifications with the fairness, respect, and seriousness that a Supreme Court nomination ought to command.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), the Senate Majority Whip, said that Kavanaugh:

…is an exceptionally qualified jurist who will be a fair and impartial arbiter of the law and will not legislate from the bench. Throughout his tenure, Judge Kavanaugh has served with a high moral standard and demonstrated a clear commitment to faithfully interpreting the Constitution.

SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE

Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee will have the honor the first interview with Kavanaugh during their committee’s hearing. Most Republican Judiciary Committee members praised Kavanaugh’s credentials and commitment to the Constitution.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said in a statement on Monday:

Judge Kavanaugh is one of the most qualified Supreme Court nominees to come before the Senate. His credentials are well known, and he’s served with distinction as a judge on the esteemed D.C. Circuit for more than a decade. He is a superb mainstream candidate worthy of the Senate’s consideration.

Sen. Orrin Hatch praised Kavanaugh’s nomination in a video statement, claiming that Kavanaugh will be an “outstanding” Supreme Court justice.

Hatch also wrote an op-ed in the Washington Examiner on Monday night, charging that he “will lift heaven and earth to get Judge Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court.”

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) described Kavanaugh as a “serious jurist known for careful deliberation.”

Never Trump Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) did not signal whether he approved of Kavanaugh. Instead, he said, “I look forward to meeting with Judge Kavanaugh and reviewing his record throughout the confirmation process.”

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) praised Kavanaugh’s nomination, saying:

Judge Kavanaugh is a well-respected jurist who deservedly received bipartisan support when confirmed to the D.C. Circuit in 2006. I know him to be a smart and fair judge, one of the most admired appellate judges in the country.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said in a tweet on Monday, “Brett #Kavanaugh will be an outstanding Justice on the Supreme Court. I also want to congratulate President @realDonaldTrump on this great choice. What a great night for the American people!”

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) said that Kavanaugh has “impeccable credentials” and looks forward to interviewing him during Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.

MORE RESERVED REPUBLICAN SENATORS

Other Republicans might make Kavanaugh’s confirmation in the Senate more difficult.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), who has reservations about changes to Roe v. Wade, said on Monday night, “Judge Kavanaugh has impressive credentials and extensive experience, having served more than a decade on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.”

“I will conduct a careful, thorough vetting of the President’s nominee to the Supreme Court, as I have done with the five previous Supreme Court Justices whom I have considered,” Collins continued.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) said, “I intend to review Judge Kavanaugh’s decisions on the bench and writings off the bench and pay careful attention to his responses to questions posed by my colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Committee.”

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said, “I look forward to the upcoming hearings, reviewing the record, and meeting personally with Judge Kavanaugh, with an open mind.”

 

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