Senate veteran returns to action as Supreme Court Sherpa

Conservatives Ready Their War Chests For Major Supreme Court Fight

Conservatives Ready Their War Chests For Major Supreme Court Fight

Kennedy was often a swing vote in the Supreme Court, joining liberal justices to legalize gay marriage and voting with conservatives to throw out campaign-finance restrictions. Susan Collins, of ME, a supporter of abortion rights who represents a mostly blue state - ME is able to split its electoral college votes, with one district consistently blue and the second a battleground. With ailing Republican John McCain unable to vote, they have little wiggle room. Still, Leahy doesn't talk as though Senate confirmation is a done deal.

While Democrats tried to paint Kavanaugh as an extremist, Republicans said he was the type of moderate Bush might have appointed.

The custody battle polarized the Cuban community and all of South Florida, with some believing Elian should not be returned to Fidel Castro's Cuba, while others thought his place was with his father, who had remained in Cuba.

"Red-state Democrats should vote to confirm Kavanaugh if they hope to stay in office", Schoen said. Kavanaugh still volunteers at Catholic Charities to feed the homeless. Speculation is now running rampant on both sides as to whether Kavanaugh would vote to overturn Roe, in what may be the first clear pro-life majority the court has ever had.

But: Jones sounded skeptical of Kavanaugh in an initial statement, saying he'll thoroughly vet Kavanaugh's background.

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Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, called him a "candidate worthy of the Senate's consideration". Kavanaugh, a 53-year-old appeals judge, is revered in conservative circles for his perceived loyalty to the text of the Constitution. "I will be diligent in measuring the record and in undertaking an independent review". About 10 key senators - two or three Republicans and a half dozen Democrats - are facing intense pressure over their votes.

"I will talk to my colleagues", Democratic Senator Kamala Harris told AFP, referring to Collins and Murkowski, as well as the three red-state Democrats, each of whom voted for Trump's first Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch past year.

Democrats have pointed to past Kavanaugh judicial writings as evidence that he believes a president is above the law. But in that case, no state law had made abortion illegal. Given Kavanaugh has been a reliably conservative judge, this could be a source of friction for Manchin.

If Kavanaugh's nomination is defeated by a combination of 49 Democrats and one or two Republicans, the process to replace retired Justice Anthony Kennedy would continue through the elections, creating an issue that could well boost Republican enthusiasm, as it did in 2016, when the vacancy over the seat of the late Antonin Scalia, and Senate Republicans' gamble in not considering President Barack Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland, hung over the election. Trump ended up picking a former clerk of Kennedy's. "That would certainly be on the table", said Frances Lee, a professor of government and politics at the University of Maryland who studies Congress.

She and the other Democrats on this list all turned down invites from the White House to attend Kavanaugh's announcement, which was widely viewed as a symbolic effort to keep their independence in this process. Claire McCaskill opposed Gorsuch and her approval rating had dropped "in a state that President Trump won by a 20-point margin". Earlier this year he voted in favor of a bill that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

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