Virginia’s two U.S. senators, Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, both Democrats, said they’ll carefully review Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s record prior to a Senate vote on President Donald Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court.
Kaine’s Republican opponent for re-election, Corey Stewart, declared Kavanaugh to be an “excellent” choice.
"Judge Kavanaugh has impeccable credentials, unsurpassed qualifications, and a proven commitment to equal justice under the law," Trump said in announcing Monday night that Kavanaugh, 53, who sits on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, was his nominee to succeed Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy.
Those concerned about the fate of the Roe v. Wade abortion decision and a predominately conservative high court worry about Trump’s selection.
In a statement on his Facebook page, Warner said, “I plan to carefully examine Judge Kavanaugh's record and judicial philosophy. I cannot and will not support a nominee who would take this country backwards by undermining our fundamental rights and American values.”
Warner said, “The next Supreme Court justice will determine whether women will maintain their constitutional right to reproductive health care; whether we will continue to protect people with pre-existing conditions from discrimination; whether we are a country that lives by our values when it comes to voting rights, women’s rights, workers' rights, and the rights of LGBT Americans.”
Kaine noted that a Supreme Court nomination “is the most consequential appointment that the Senate ever considers.” Supreme Court justices aren’t term-limited.
“There are many critical issues I’ll focus on during this process, including whether Judge Kavanaugh would respect rulings upholding the ACA [Affordable Care Act] and if he would safeguard the civil rights of all Americans, protect women’s freedom to make their own reproductive health care decisions, and be independent and willing to exercise appropriate checks on the Presidency,” Kaine said on his Facebook page.
Kaine said he won’t make a final decision until he’s met with Kavanaugh one-on-one and observed him during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearing.
Stewart, Kaine’s Republican opponent in the upcoming Nov. 6 election, said Trump made a “bold step towards restoring Constitutional government” in picking Kavanaugh.
“I urge Senator Kaine to put politics aside and do what's right for America and support the President's excellent choice to replace Anthony Kennedy on the bench," said Stewart, the chairman at-large of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors.