Trump's Supreme Court Pick Woos Senators Amid Partisan Storm

Judge Brett Kavanaugh was nominated by President Donald Trump for the US Supreme Court.                  Mandel Ngan  AFP  Getty Images

Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who is up for re-election in November in a state where Trump is overwhelmingly popular, tweeted Monday that he too was looking forward to meeting with Kavanaugh to discuss his "judicial philosophy & perspective on access to healthcare for WVians with pre-existing conditions".

If Democrats want to block the conservative judge, they must vote en masse against him and pick up at least one Republican defector. Since 2006, he has served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

I refer, of course, to the time of Richard Nixon, the Watergate break-in, investigations and prosecutions, and the revelation of the existence of dozens of secretly taped Oval Office conversations among the president and his henchmen.

I believe, if confirmed by the Senate, Judge Kavanaugh will interpret the Constitution as written, and I don't think he will attempt to make law from the bench. "He's someone that has the character, the background, the career and the record that gave President Trump the confidence to know that when he appointed Judge Kavanaugh. he would be another Constitutional conservative".

Brown, a prominent liberal voice, said he had some "serious concerns" about Kavanaugh's rulings - but insisted he hasn't made a decision.

NBC News reported that the Trump team was in talks with Kennedy about his replacement for months and he only felt comfortable retiring after he "received assurance that it would be Kavanaugh", per NBC reporter Geoff Bennett. He said "that's the accountability that will be lost if Judge Kavanaugh is confirmed". But his supporters have cited his experience and wide range of legal opinions. Senate Republicans hold only a 51-49 majority, leaving them hardly any margin if Democrats hold the line. But Amar made an impassioned please to other Democrats, suggesting that their reading of Kavanaugh may be overwrought. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also received a heads-up from the president.

Some Republican senators had favored other options. Rand Paul, a fierce opponent of government surveillance that some critics say Kavanaugh would vote to legitimize, vowed to keep an "open mind" on his nomination.

Democrats and liberal advocacy groups quickly lined up in opposition.

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The White House would love to have the Democrats' votes for confirmation. Sens. Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota have all been floated as possible "yes" votes for Kavanaugh, but on Tuesday, they were just as mum as their moderate colleagues on the other side of the aisle.

Democrats have turned their attention to pressuring two Republicans, Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of ME, moderate Republicans both - were coy when asked on Tuesday for their thoughts on Kavanaugh. But conservatives are also concerned about the future of the law under Kavanaugh. At the top of that list is abortion.

Primus said it's unlikely the Supreme Court's decision legalizing same-sex marriage would be overturned, but speculated that Roe v. Wade is "somewhere between in danger and definitely gone". And he also led the investigation into the mysterious suicide of Clinton's deputy White House counsel, Vince Foster. In a dissenting opinion, he said the FCC had overstepped its authority because Congress has not passed a net neutrality law.

"He has written nearly entirely in favor of big businesses, employers in employment disputes, and against defendants in criminal cases", according to Adam Feldman of the Empirical SCOTUS blog.

In the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Robert Aderholt - the dean of Alabama congressmen in the lower chamber - urged the Senate to quickly confirm Kavanaugh. Cashman and Kavanaugh attended Georgetown Prep at the same time in the 1980s, along with current Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. Kennedy, a member of the Judiciary Committee, which will get the first chance to question the nominee, predicted a "rough, tough, down in the dirt, ear-pulling, nose-biting fight".

"I'm embarrassed by the scratch-your-back-then-you-scratch mine column of Akhil Amar and I say that as a Yale Law alum and one of his former students, " said Neera Tanden, a Hillary Clinton acolyte and President of the thinktank Center for American Progress. Jon Kyl would guide Trump's nominee through the grueling Senate process.

The anxiety over defections speaks to the narrowness of the Republican's majority in the Senate. He works for Washington-based lobbying firm Covington & Burling. If you're going to do something unsafe in this emergency situation, it should be something that might actually make a difference.

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