Rand Paul reverses on threat to oppose Trump supreme court pick


Senate Republicans are aiming within weeks to hold a confirmation hearing for Kavanaugh, nominated by President Donald Trump earlier this month, and to confirm him before the next Supreme Court term begins in October.

"After meeting Judge Kavanaugh and reviewing his record, I have made a decision to support his nomination", Paul said in a series of Twitter posts. He also expressed concern over Kavanaugh's record on warrantless bulk collection of data and how that might apply to important privacy cases.

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. Manchin is the first Democrat Senator to meet with the judge.

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Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavnaugh arriving for his meeting with West Virginia Democratic Sen.

Republicans, however, have now "declined to sign a bipartisan document request or Judge Kavanaugh's complete record", wrote Schumer, who said he's concerned that only those documents that have been "pre-screened and approved by the private legal team" will be disclosed to the Senate. "There is no reason for Chairman Grassley and the Senate Republican Leadership to hide these emails - unless there's something to hide".

While Paul says nominees should be judged on their character, views, and opinions, he notes nobody will "ever completely agree with a nominee". He has also asked West Virginia residents to send him questions for the nominee.

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Paul's concerns centered on Judge Kavanaugh's 2015 statement concurring in the denial of rehearing en banc in Klayman v. Obama, which was then before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Sens. Joe Donnelly of IN and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota were the others.

All three are under pressure to consider voting for Kavanaugh, because the they are up for re-election in November in states that voted for Trump. He also praised Kavanaugh's record on property rights and views on due process, war powers and separation of powers, as well has his "strong defenses" of the First and Second Amendments.

Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has Kavanaugh on his Monday schedule as the GOP presses more Democrat votes.

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