A key Republican senator said Monday he will support Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
In a series of tweets Monday morning, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who had expressed some concerns about Kavanaugh’s record related to privacy and the 4th Amendment, said he would vote for Kavanaugh.
“After meeting Judge Kavanaugh and reviewing his record, I have decided to support his nomination. No one will ever completely agree with a nominee (unless of course, you are the nominee). Each nominee however, must be judged on the totality of their views character and opinions,” Paul said in one of those tweets.
Paul followed up his initial comment with an entire series highlighting why he was backing Kavanaugh.
“I have expressed my concern over Judge Kavanaugh’s record on warrantless bulk collection of data and how that might apply to very important privacy cases before the Supreme Court,” Paul tweeted. “In reviewing his record on other privacy cases like Jones, and through my conversation with him, I have hope that in light of the new precedent in Carpenter v. United States, Judge Kavanaugh will be more open to a Fourth Amendment that protects digital records and property.”
Paul also applauded Kavanaugh’s record on the Second and First Amendments.
“His strong defenses of the First and Second Amendments in landmark cases show someone who isn’t afraid to challenge the status quo and will fight with backbone,” Paul wrote, adding, “Judge Kavanaugh will have my support and my vote to confirm him to the Supreme Court.”
Paul’s decision to back Kavanaugh comes as Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, works to try and hold his caucus together and keep moderate Democrats from coming out in support of the nominee before Republicans get the votes on their own. Republicans don’t need Democratic votes to approve Kavanaugh, but with Arizona GOP Sen. John McCain back home fighting brain cancer, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can’t afford to lose a single Republican vote without convincing Democrats to cross the aisle and vote for Kavanaugh.
It’s been nearly a month since Kavanaugh was nominated, and Monday will mark his first meeting with a Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who is facing re-election in a state President Donald Trump easily won.
Meanwhile, all eyes are still on Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, two key moderate votes. The senators were instrumental in stopping the repeal of the Affordable Care Act – more commonly known as Obamacare – and have bucked their party in the past on issues related to abortion rights, two topics that are sure to come up in their meetings with Kavanaugh.