Murkowski, Collins: Trump could have done worse than Kavanaugh

Today is the day

Today is the day. Sean Pavone Getty Images

Supreme Court justices earn more than double the $115,520 per year judges typically earn in the US, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Democrats are anxious that Kavanaugh will join with the court's other four conservative members to reverse legalized abortion in the United States.

Democrats take particular issue with a 2009 Minnesota Law Review article in which Kavanaugh argues the president should be "excused from some of the burdens of ordinary citizenship", noting his views evolved from the late 1990s when he was a lead lawyer on the Ken Starr investigation into Bill Clinton.

As part of that strategy, Democrats are focusing on Republicans Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who both helped doom the repeal of the health care law.

Though Democrats - egged on by an energized progressive base - are promising to fiercely oppose Kavanaugh, they have no real power to stop Kavanaugh's confirmation. While Trump repeatedly promised during the campaign to select a nominee who would overturn Roe v. Wade, Kavanaugh has sometimes taken a more cautious approach.

American Bridge, an opposition research and communications operation that works to support Democratic candidates and find damaging information on their opponents, has launched a team of more than a dozen staffers in Washington and dozens more outside to dive into Kavanaugh's record - his personal record.

Meanwhile, Senate Democrats were already pushing a coordinated message against Kavanaugh as an unacceptable choice on both policy and political grounds. How Kavanaugh responds could be a significant determining factor for Collins.

Kavanaugh wrote the decision did not lay out enough specific criteria on how to strike jurors aside from their race, and made some suggestions that were later employed by courts. Kavanaugh, for instance, supported the highly controversial federal metadata collection program, declaring in 2015 that "the government's metadata collection program is entirely consistent with the Fourth Amendment".

Judge Brett Kavanaugh listens to Sen.

President Donald Trump's pick for the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh, could have a relatively clear path to confirmation in the Senate.

In 2016, McConnell similarly thought an election should play out first before a vote.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who described Kavanaugh as a "superb" pick, called on Democrat senators to "put partisanship aside and consider his legal qualifications with the fairness, respect, and seriousness that a Supreme Court nomination ought to command".

"We are concerned that Judge Kavanaugh's judicial record does not reflect the demonstrated independence and commitment to fair treatment for all that is necessary to merit a seat on our nation's highest court", Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL's CEO and national director, said in a statement. "And that's the kind of leadership North Dakotans expect from their senators". A vote for Trump's nominee could boost his chances of eking out a win-and that goes for the rest of the bunch.

The second set will target the three Democrats who voted for Gorsuch - Heidi Heitkamp, of North Dakota, Joe Donnelly of IN, and Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Schumer, demands unity: a "no" vote on Kavanaugh.

Manchin was was also among the three Democrats to vote for Gorsuch a year ago. Is it any wonder that President Trump chose Kavanaugh from the list of 25? That's because, he says, the Supreme Court will ultimately determine whether health insurers will be prohibited from denying insurance to hundreds of thousands of his constituents with pre-existing conditions. This decision will directly impact nearly 40 percent of my state, so I'm very interested in his position on protecting West Virginians with pre-existing conditions.

We're joined now by one of the Judiciary Committee members who will question the nominee at his confirmation hearing, Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii. "Seating a Supreme Court nominee with an obvious disdain for fundamental liberties will change American life as we know it".

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