Scorecard On Kavanaugh Confirmation Vote

We will be keeping track of public statements made by key US Senators on Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. So here is a lengthy list of initial statements, all of which were made after the nomination was announced. We will start with the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, then list a few notables as well as our two Democrat Senators from Virginia. You can click on their name for the link to where we found the quote. Check back for updates as the confirmation process advances.

The Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee

Sen. Chuck Grassley (chairman)- “Had the opportunity to meet Judge Kavanaugh in my office & then before the press to discuss his nomination to be a Supreme Court Justice. I look fwd to a fair & thorough confirmation process in my Judiciary Cmte & the Senate.”

Sen. Orrin Hatch– “I think he’s an excellent choice…. I think he’ll be confirmed.” And then he said Kavanaugh is “a brilliant lawyer and a brilliant judge.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham– “Brett Kavanaugh will be an outstanding Justice on the Supreme Court. I also want to congratulate President Donald Trump on this great choice. What a great night for the American people!”

Sen. John Cornyn– “Judge Kavanaugh is an exceptionally-qualified jurist. He will be a fair and impartial arbiter of the law and has demonstrated a clear commitment to faithfully interpreting the Constitution.” He also said, “The reason why I think the left is so afraid of this nomination is because they view the judiciary as a policy-making arm of the federal government. We disagree.”

Sen. Mike Lee– “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.” He also said, “I look forward to the process in the Senate, getting to know Judge Kavanaugh and his family better in coming months, and, hopefully, voting to confirm him to the Supreme Court in the fall.”

Sen. Ted Cruz– “By any measure, Judge Kavanaugh is one of the most respected federal judges in the country and I look forward to supporting his nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States… Senate Democrats, sadly, will try to demagogue this nomination, but they will not be successful. I am confident that the Senate will take up his nomination quickly & I expect that he will be confirmed before the first Monday in October, the beginning of the Supreme Court’s Term.”

Sen. Ben Sasse (the best quote of the bunch)- “Brett Kavanaugh is a serious jurist known for careful deliberation. This doesn’t matter to many on the left. Sadly, the #Resistance is going to try to bork him by portraying him as a cross between Lex Luthor and Darth Vader. This isn’t the apocalypse – this is an opportunity to thoroughly review Kavanaugh’s record, debate this seriously, and celebrate our system of checks, balances, and limited government.”

Sen. Jeff Flake– “As I have said before, approving a nominee who will interpret the Constitution rather than legislate from the bench should be our top priority. I look forward to meeting with Judge Kavanaugh and reviewing his record throughout the confirmation process.”

Sen. Mike Crapo– “Judge Kavanaugh has a strong background of legal experience and knowledge and I congratulate him on this high honor… I have long said that judges at every level of our judicial system must look first and foremost to the Constitution for guidance in all legal matters and interpret it as it is written.  Judges must not engage in creating new law by judicial activism from the bench. I look forward to meeting with Judge Kavanaugh once the confirmation process moves forward.”

Sen. Thom Tillis– “I hope all my colleagues, regardless of their party affiliation, will ignore the pressure from partisan special interest groups by fairly and thoughtfully assessing Judge Kavanaugh based on his outstanding credentials and qualifications.”

Sen. John Kennedy– “I’m disappointed in some of my colleagues, mostly Democrats, who have just dismissed Judge Kavanaugh out of hand. They don’t even know the man yet, and they’ve already said he’s unacceptable. They need to give the man a chance.”

The Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (ranking member)- “Brett Kavanaugh’s record indicates that he would be among the most conservative justices in Supreme Court history, his views are far outside the mainstream and there’s every reason to believe he would overturn Roe v. Wade.”

Sen. Patrick Leahy– “The Constitution doesn’t direct the President to nominate justices to the Supreme Court with the advice and consent of the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation. That is the role specified by the Constitution for the United States Senate… Farming out this nomination to extreme ideologues only further divides our nation while threatening real harm to the Court’s independence. Based on an initial review of Judge Kavanaugh’s record, we are right to be concerned.”

Sen. Dick Durbin– “Replacing Justice Kennedy’s swing vote with a far-right jurist like Judge Kavanaugh could change the rules in America.”

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse– “Special interests approved this nominee. The confirmation process will be powered by massive, secretive spending by their phony front groups.”

Sen. Amy Klobuchar– “Serious concerns I have about Judge Kavanaugh in addition to the obvious health care & separation of power issues: He ruled that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was unconstitutional (reversed by full Circuit Court) & went out of his way to dissent against net neutrality.”

Sen. Chris Coons– “As a member of the Judiciary Committee, I’ll do my job and review the nominee closely before reaching a conclusion. We shouldn’t be having a discussion. This is an unprecedented level of hypocrisy where the Republicans are playing by different rules when if there’s a different president in the White House. For ten months, they refused to even hold a hearing on the vacant seats that previously had been held by Justice Scalia after President Obama nominated an imminently confirmable moderate judge. We’re just four months before an election and the conversation is about rushing this through. I don’t think we should be rushing. I frankly don’t think we should be considering this nominee.”

Sen. Richard Blumenthal– “I will be a ‘no’ vote on this nominee.”

Sen. Mazie Hirono– “As a federal appellate court Judge, Kavanaugh’s record is replete with decisions favoring the privileged and powerful. His writings & rulings show a determination to restrict reproductive freedom & strip federal agencies of their power to protect our water, air, and safety.”

Sen. Cory Booker– “I’m going to do everything I can to stop Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination—but there are also strong reasons why this president shouldn’t be able to nominate, nor should the Senate even debate a nominee at this time.”

Sen. Kamala Harris (the craziest of the bunch)- “I know just how consequential this seat on the Supreme Court is. Had the Supreme Court not issued the unanimous opinion led by Chief Justice Earl Warren in Brown v. Board, I likely would not have become a lawyer and I certainly would not have become a U.S. Senator.” She also said in a speech today she will oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination.

Democrats in tough re-election campaigns

Sen. Joe Manchin– “I believe the Senate should hold committee hearings; Senators should meet with him, we should debate his qualifications on the Senate floor and cast whatever vote we believe he deserves. I look forward to meeting with Judge Kavanaugh, examining his rulings and making a determination of whether to provide my consent.”

Sen. Joe Donnelly (full statement)- “As I have said, part of my job as Senator includes thoroughly considering judicial nominations, including to the Supreme Court. I will take the same approach as I have previously for a Supreme Court vacancy. Following the president’s announcement, I will carefully review and consider the record and qualifications of Judge Brett Kavanaugh.”

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp– “Now I’ll get to work to thoroughly review and vet [Judge Kavanaugh’s] record to provide advice and consent for filling this vacancy… An exhaustive and fair process took place Justice Gorsuch, who I support, and it should and must take place again now.”

Sen. Claire McCaskill (full statement)- “I look forward to thoroughly examining Judge Kavanaugh’s record in the coming weeks as the Senate considers his nomination to replace Justice Kennedy.”

Sen. Jon Tester (full statement)- “I take my Constitutional duty to screen the President’s nominees very seriously, and in the coming weeks I look forward to meeting with Judge Kavanaugh. Montanans have a lot on the line with this next Supreme Court Justice so I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to put politics aside and do what’s best for this nation.”

Notable Republicans

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell– “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… 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 McCain (who may not be able to vote)- “President Trump has chosen a nominee with impeccable credentials and a strong record of upholding the Constitution. Over the course of Judge Kavanaugh’s impressive legal career, he has built a reputation as a fair, independent, and mainstream judge who has earned widespread respect from his peers. One of the Senate’s highest constitutional responsibilities is to provide advice and consent on nominations to the Supreme Court, and I look forward to the Senate fulfilling this critical duty through a fair and thorough confirmation process.”

Sen. Susan Collins– “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.  I look forward to Judge Kavanaugh’s public hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee and to questioning him in a meeting in my office.”

Sen. Lisa Murkowski– “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. The American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Judiciary will also review Judge Kavanaugh’s qualifications prior to these hearings and issue a rating. I intend to carefully consider that rating, the information obtained through personal meetings, my own review of Judge Kavanaugh’s qualifications and record, and the views of Alaskans in determining whether or not to support him. My standard for reviewing Supreme Court nominees remains rigorous and exacting.”

Virginia’s Senators

Sen. Mark Warner– “This nominee comes from a list put together by ultra-conservative groups who do not support these core values, give me grave concerns that Judge Kavanaugh is not the right pick to serve on our nation’s highest court. I plan to carefully examine Judge Kavanaugh’s record and judicial philosophy. I cannot and will not support a nominee who would take this country backwards by undermining our fundamental rights and American values.”

Sen. Tim Kaine– “I’m encouraging Virginians to send me feedback on what they’re looking for in a Supreme Court justice, and I won’t make a final decision until I have met one-on-one with Judge Kavanaugh and observed his performance in the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. It could have catastrophic consequences if Leader McConnell rushes to confirm a nominee. There should not be a vote until the American public has a chance to speak in November.”

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