Rand Paul Says He Will Vote Yes on SCOTUS Nominee Brett Kavanaugh

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

Doug Jones of Alabama said he is keeping an "open mind" on President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and is not anxious about a flurry of advertising pressuring him to confirm or reject the nominee. Paul's support is crucial to passing Kavanaugh's nomination, as Republicans hold a slim 51-49 majority in the Senate.

Manchin will be the first Senate Democrat to meet with Kavanaugh, a conservative appeals court judge, since his nomination earlier this month.

The Manchin meeting could set the stage for other swing-vote Democrats to talk with Kavanaugh or even support him, despite fierce pressure from party leaders and activists.

"I am very concerned about his position on privacy and the Fourth Amendment", Paul said last week.

On the Democratic side, Schumer has said that there is "simply no basis to withhold Judge Kavanaugh's staff secretary record" from senators' review.

- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) July 30, 2018My conversation with Judge Kavanaugh reinforces my belief that he will evaluate cases before the Supreme Court from a textual and originalist point of view.

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"I believe he will carefully adhere to the Constitution and take his job to protect individual liberty seriously", Paul added. Manchin is the first Democrat he has met with since his nomination was announced. Republicans disagree and have accused Democrats of using the issue to try to delay Kavanaugh's confirmation. Only a simple majority is needed to confirm Kavanaugh, after Republicans eliminated the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees past year.

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.

Paul's support for Kavanaugh is a blow to Democrats and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), who has said he will work to defeat Kavanaugh's confirmation with all of his strength.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who is running against Manchin for Senate, said in a statement before the meeting the senator needs to stop "waffling".

"Hopefully most of the appropriation bills will be passed, a little better prioritization of spending, so I certainly don't like playing shut down politics", said Sen. Gallup, which has tested the reaction to most Supreme Court nominees since the 1990s, found that Kavanaugh's initial support was roughly comparable to that for failed 2005 nominee Harriet Miers.

Kavanaugh's nomination has delighted Second Amendment advocates - and anxious gun law supporters that his ascendancy to the high court would make it harder to curb the proliferation of guns.

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