Politics

Brett Kavanaugh? Meet Senate Democrats. Senate Democrats? Meet Brett Kavanaugh

Supreme Court nominee meetings with minority party pick up steam

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh makes his way to a meeting with Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., in Hart Building on August 15, 2018. The judge has more meetings with Democrats scheduled this week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Judge Brett Kavanaugh was back on Capitol Hill Tuesday for a day of meetings headlined by sit-downs with a key Republican, as well as with the Senate minority leader and other high-profile Senate Democrats.

President Donald Trump’s choice to fill the seat on the Supreme Court vacated by the retirement of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy met with Sen. Susan Collins Tuesday morning. The Maine Republican spent a significant amount of time reviewing the judge’s record in the weeks ahead of the meeting.

“I have not seen anything that is disqualifying, but I’ve seen a number of issues that raise questions that I need to explore,” Collins told reporters Monday evening.

After meeting with Kavanaugh for more than two hours, Collins said he answered all of her questions about the landmark abortion case Roe v. Wade, but that she would not make a final decision about his confirmation until after his hearing before the Judiciary Committee.

Collins told reporters that Kavanaugh indicated agreement that the decision in Roe v. Wade was “settled law.” That’s similar to what current Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., said during his confirmation process.

Also on the nominee’s docket for Tuesday? An afternoon meeting with Sen. Charles E. Schumer of New York, where the Democratic leader was expected to press Kavanaugh directly on questions about the release of documents from his tenure in the gorge W. Bush White House

“I hope that he comes prepared to answer direct questions about his writings, speeches, opinions and judicial philosophy. I also hope he’s willing to shed some light in the areas in his record that remain opaque,” Schumer said in a floor speech Tuesday morning.

In addition to Schumer, Kavanaugh was set to meet on Tuesday with Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., who faces a tough re-election race this fall, and two Democrats on the Judiciary Committee: Minnesota’s Amy Klobuchar and California’s Kamala Harris

Monday’s schedule for Kavanaugh included a meeting with Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio. The senator issued a statement after that meeting that didn’t sound very upbeat about the Trump nominee.

 “I have serious concerns about some of Judge Kavanaugh’s rulings and positions on health care for Ohioans with pre-existing conditions, and the rights of Ohio workers, women, and consumers,” Brown said. “I am continuing to listen to Ohioans and review Judge Kavanagh’s record as I make my final decision.”

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