Thiessen: Democrats should hope for GOP unity on Kavanaugh

Hero or villain? Trump's court pick is in for a fight

The fate of Donald Trump's US Supreme Court nominee increasingly appears to lie in the hands of two Republican senators, pro-choice moderates with a penchant for rebellion - and who have bucked the president before.

This scenario is awful for those vulnerable Senate Democrats, who must either vote against the nominee in states where voters are likely to view Kavanaugh and Trump favorably or risk alienating their Democratic supporters by playing a direct role in the confirmation of a judge that many rank-and-file Democrats find wholly unacceptable. He said he would work to defeat Kavanaugh, in his words, "with everything I have". "There are a lot of people in America who still say, 'I voted for him, I guess he's OK.' But when you ask them, 'Does he need a check and balance?,' they say, 'Definitely'". "It was our job in Congress to make the law, and judges shouldn't be doing what we're doing because they can't be voted out of office if you don't like what they're doing".

Now Democrats - who as the minority party have few options to block the Kavanaugh confirmation process - are desperate for their support once more as they weigh what many see as one of the most consequential decisions of Trump's presidency.

The second scenario is like the first, except with one or two Republicans opposing Kavanaugh, thereby putting Democratic senators in Republican states in the hot seat.

"For the past seven years, I have coached my daughter's basketball teams", Kavanaugh said.

So far, centrist Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, spoke favorably of Kavanaugh on Wednesday, noting that the articles reflected Kavanaugh's "contemplation of his role in the Clinton impeachment".

"So between this and Colbert, I guess the Left's leading attack on Kavanaugh is his first name?" "There weren't any questions on constitutionalist judicial philosophy and application of the Constitution - whereas with Kavanaugh, there are some questions", he explains.

"The essential message is Roe", Wikler said, citing the potential that a more conservative court would overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called Kavanaugh "an impressive" nominee who is "well qualified" to sit on the nation's highest court. They won't pay much of a price if they end up as the 51st, 52nd and 53rd votes confirming Trump's nominee, adding a bipartisan veneer to the final vote.

But perhaps more important than all of those issues, at least from a confirmation prospects perspective: Republican Sens. His opponents will contest this conclusion, but largely because they are focused less on what the law requires than on winners and losers, and they fear that the undoubtedly conservative Kavanaugh will rule against them in many contexts.

If Republican Senators don't break ranks, the votes of their Democratic colleagues won't matter.

"That's going to go up to the [nation's highest] court and that's huge", she continued.

Congress, he wrote in The Minnesota Law Review, should pass a law that would temporarily protect the president from both civil suits and criminal prosecution.

On Monday, President Trump once again delivered on his promise of nominating constitutionally sound Supreme Court justices.

With ailing Sen. John McCain not voting, neither party can afford to lose a vote from their side.

Remember: This is precisely what McConnell flagged for Trump as a potential problem with Kavanaugh's nomination: Never that he wasn't qualified, but that his extensive time in government service, and the documents that come with it, cannot only lead to possible surprises and also give Democrats grounds - legitimate or not - to delay consideration of the nomination.

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