Senators Kaine, Warner react to Kavanaugh pick

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WASHINGTON (CBS19 NEWS) -- Virginia Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, both Democrats, put out statements Monday night about President Donald Trump's choice of Brett Kavanaugh to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Photo: US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit / MGN

Statement from Warner:

There is much at stake with President Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to fill the vacancy created by Justice Kennedy’s retirement. The next Supreme Court justice will determine whether women will maintain their constitutional right to reproductive health care; whether we will continue to protect people with pre-existing conditions from discrimination; whether we are a country that lives by our values when it comes to voting rights, women’s rights, workers' rights, and the rights of LGBT Americans. The stakes are made that much higher by an Administration that routinely violates longstanding norms and pushes ethical boundaries past the breaking point. We need a Supreme Court that can act as a check on the executive branch now more than ever.

Time and time again, President Trump has said that he will only nominate candidates who will vote to undermine those rights and who will work to overturn Roe v. Wade. That simple fact, and that 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.

Statement from Kaine:

A Supreme Court nomination is the most consequential appointment that the Senate ever considers. As I have with nominees in the past, I will carefully review Judge Kavanaugh’s character, legal decisions, and writing to determine whether he should be confirmed to this crucial position. There are critical issues at stake, and four in particular I’ll be focusing on:

Would Judge Kavanaugh respect rulings upholding the Affordable Care Act, which guarantees protections for Americans with preexisting conditions?

As a longtime civil rights lawyer, I’m focused on whether Judge Kavanaugh would safeguard the civil rights of all Americans regardless of race, gender, religion, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation and ensure that all are protected from discrimination.

Would Judge Kavanaugh protect women’s freedom to make their own reproductive health care decisions?

And would Judge Kavanaugh be independent and willing to exercise appropriate checks against the Presidency, especially given this President’s alarming claims that he has the power to fire Special Counsel Mueller or pardon himself?

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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