The Latest: Manchin says he’s undecided on Kavanaugh
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh (all times local):
The first Democratic senator to sit down with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh says he’s not ready to make a final decision on how he will vote.
Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia says in a statement released after the meeting that he won’t make a final decision until he has completed a “thorough and fair examination” of Kavanaugh’s candidacy.
Manchin represents a state that President Donald Trump won by 42 percent points and is up for re-election himself this year, increasing the stakes of the vote.
Manchin met with Kavanaugh for about two hours Monday. He says they discussed Kavanaugh’s views on health care, but is not elaborating.
Manchin has stressed that he wants the courts to protect the Affordable Care Act’s protections for people with pre-existing health conditions.
The Senate’s top Democrat says Republicans are trying to rush Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court without fully vetting the judge’s record from his years in the Bush White House.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Monday that Republicans are declining to seek documents from Kavanaugh’s time as staff secretary to President George W. Bush.
Schumer asks: “What are they hiding? Why shouldn’t we see what that record’s about?”
Late last week, Sen. Chuck Grassley, the Judiciary Committee chairman, announced he was requesting documents from Kavanaugh’s time at the White House counsel’s office, not the staff secretary job. Grassley said he’s not going to waste taxpayer money on millions of documents Democrats want.
Republicans hope to confirm President Donald Trump’s nominee by fall.
Republican Sen. Rand Paul, who had publicly wavered as to whether he would support Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, endorsed him Monday.
Paul of Kentucky says he will back Kavanaugh despite misgivings about the judge’s views on surveillance and privacy issues. Few had expected Paul would oppose President Donald Trump’s choice in the end.
The endorsement gives Kavanaugh a boost as he prepares to sit down Monday afternoon with Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, one of a handful of Democratic senators seen as potential swing votes in the confirmation fight.