Rand Paul Announces He’ll Support Kavanaugh for Supreme Court

Sen. Patty Murray told the story of a college friend who sought an illegal abortion. Chip Somodevilla  Getty Images

Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., met with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Monday, the first Senate Democrat to hold a meeting with President Donald Trump's choice for the high court.

After meeting Judge Kavanaugh and reviewing his record, I have made a decision to support his nomination.

However, several Democrats seeking re-election in states that voted for Trump in 2016 could cross party lines and support Kavanaugh, as three did when the Senate voted on the President's first Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, last year.

Paul's initial concerns over Kavanaugh involved the judge's record on privacy.

Paul cited concerns over "privacy" and "the Fourth Amendment" as being the basis for hesitating to back Kavanaugh.

"Over the last two weeks, West Virginians have contacted me more than 8,000 times with their opinions on Judge Kavanaugh and the questions they have for him, and when I met with him today, I asked him several of their questions", Mr. Manchin said in a statement after the meeting.

"I believe he will carefully adhere to the Constitution and take his job to protect individual liberty seriously", Paul added.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) has asked the archives exclusively for Kavanaugh's documents from his time in the counsel's office because Republicans believe the paperwork from Kavanaugh's time as staff secretary is irrelevant to how he would serve as a justice. Republicans disagree and have accused Democrats of using the issue to try to delay Kavanaugh's confirmation.

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Now that Paul backed Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court, there are few Republican senators who have yet to state if they will vote to confirm Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court.

Upon reviewing Kavanaugh's other rulings, Paul apparently warmed to the judge.

Manchin, who could be pivotal in the confirmation vote, said the pair had a "productive meeting", but he did not hint at how he will vote.

Still, "I wouldn't say it's a waste of time", she said of looking at the documents.

Trump thanked Paul in a tweet, saying, "Your vote means a lot to me, and to everyone who loves our Country!" With the Senate control slimly held by Republicans 51-49, Democrats can't block Kavanaugh's nomination outright if Republicans hold together.

Barrasso said that he looks forward to the Senate confirmation hearings, which have yet to be scheduled.

Both senators support abortion rights, and liberal advocacy groups have argued that Kavanaugh's confirmation would undermine Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision.

Paul had let Trump know he preferred other potential Supreme Court nominees he viewed as more conservative.

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