Brett Kavanaugh on Track?

Nominee Brett Kavanaugh appears to be on track for confirmation among Senate Republicans, including abortion rights supporters Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. The pressure is on centrist Democrats (The Hill).

Wisconsin Democrat Sen. Tammy Baldwin, who is up for reelection in a state Trump won in 2016, announced her opposition to Kavanaugh on Thursday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) accused his Democratic colleagues of trying to “bork” Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, a reference to Democrats’ successful opposition to Supreme Court nominee Judge Robert Bork in 1987 based on his conservative ideology, not his qualifications. “Bork” became a verb in the dictionary, meaning to obstruct “through systematic defamation or vilification” (The Hill).

Image: Mitch McConnell

McConnell said Democrats in the Senate are peddling “conspiracy theory catnip” by suggesting that Kavanaugh’s writings about whether presidents can be criminally indicted or investigated while in office is part of a strategy to protect Trump from the findings of Mueller’s investigation. Some Democrats have said Kavanaugh should recuse himself, if elevated to the Supreme Court (NBC News).

Democrats’ attacks on Kavanaugh focus on his conservative positions on abortion and reproductive rights, health care, and his expansive views of presidential executive power.

But there was a bright spot for the nominee, who earned praise from former housemates at Yale, his alma mater. They recall a sports junkie with finicky tastes for bland food and almost no appetite for politics. The accomplished group of friends hold annual reunions, and say they hope they’ll see Kavanaugh, who has been a regular attendee over the years (Yale Daily News).

Special thanks to the Hill, NBC News, and the Yale Daily News.

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