"His full name is Brett Michael Kavanaugh, so it is possible Trump though he was nominating Poison lead singer and victor of 'Celebrity Apprentice, ' Brett Michaels", he joked. Kamala Harris and New Jersey Sen.
Heitkamp, a Democrat in a state that voted for Mr. Trump, issued a lengthy statement Monday night saying she takes her role to vet Supreme Court nominees "incredibly seriously", and will conduct a thorough review of Kavanaugh's record. And that may be the problem.
President Donald Trump's choice for the court, Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, has expressed strong support for executive power, hostility to administrative agencies and support for gun rights and religious freedom. But what, exactly, is their argument to voters?
"The secondary message for most folks is ACA and health care", Wikler continued, referring to the Obama-era health care law.
"As a point of comparison, look at Bob Casey who is also up for re-election in the Trump-won state of Pennsylvania". "See? It's all squares that say 'white guy'". Plus, Flake's predecessor in the Senate, Jon Kyl, will be guiding Kavanaugh through the confirmation process.
"Our phone is ringing off the hook", said Nan Aron, who founded the liberal Alliance for Justice Action Campaign in 1979. "The stakes are simply too high for anything less". She voted in April 2017 to appoint Justice Neil Gorsuch, Trump's Supreme Court nominee who replaced the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
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.
Obviously, dramatic news about Kavanaugh's record or values that proves disqualifying would change the nature of the confirmation process.
The political impact of the court debate is messier.
Alabama's Jones, another Democrat in a thoroughly red state that voted for Mr. Trump, won his seat past year by defeating Roy Moore, the Trump-supported Republican Senate candidate accused of engaging in inappropriate relationships with underage girls in his 30s.
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Tamara Crepet, a lawyer provisionally appointed to represent Zhang, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Zhang was on his way to Hangzhou when he was charged with stealing autonomous driving trade secrets from Apple.
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"I expect Kavanaugh will be very much in the mould of Chief Justice Roberts, who has generally been friendly to business", Russell Wheeler, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution.
Already, both sides have poured money into the battle. This includes launching a $5 million ad campaign and harnessing #StopKavanaugh on social media. Simultaneously, interest groups both for and against the nominee will be putting pressure on senators and trying to activate the public. In 1992, Kennedy affirmed the central holding of Roe v. Wade, but that was then. He's also sided with abortion opponents.
But Kavanaugh's record complicates the Democrats' initial desire to focus exclusively on abortion rights.
Klobuchar also warned of the potential for the Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion everywhere to be undone if Kavanaugh is confirmed.
In his 2006 Senate confirmation hearing to become a federal judge, Kavanaugh appeared to support the legal precedent set by the Roe decisions. But frankly, I have no idea what he might do, except I'm sure he'll be against Roe v. Wade.
Kennedy, by contrast, was a swing vote on abortion issues.
Administration officials told Politico that Trump spent the most time with Kavanaugh out of the other three candidates - he was interviewed at least twice - and was impressed with Kavanaugh's credentials and "fidelity to the Constitution", in Politico's words.
Republicans hope to confirm Kavanaugh before the court begins its session in October. "But at the top of the list is healthcare", he said.
Kavanaugh peppered his acceptance speech with references to his daughters, wife and mother and noted that "a majority" of his law clerks were women.
But so far, Democrats are holding back.
"Any messaging is fine for now". Different considerations go into academic writing than go into judicial opinions and we often see legal academics take positions that they may never think reasonable under the constraints of deciding a case.