Burr supporting Kavanaugh; Tillis to keep an open mind

September 26, 2018

On the eve of a hearing into allegations of sexual misconduct against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, North Carolina’s senators are staking out positions on whether they’ll support the nomination.

U.S. Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, announced Tuesday night that his committee would schedule a vote Friday on Kavanaugh’s confirmation. The announcement came two days before the committee will hear from Professor Christine Blasey Ford, a former classmate of Kavanaugh who has accused him of attempted rape at a high school party 36 years ago.

The scheduled vote raised protests from Senate Democrats, who said it proves the Republican leadership isn’t taking the allegations seriously. Grassley later clarified that the committee vote was scheduled as a matter of procedure and that the panel wouldn’t vote unless it’s ready to do so.

Republican U.S. Sen.Thom Tillis of North Carolina sits on the Judiciary Committee, and spokesman Daniel Keylin said Tillis will keep an open mind.

“The Judiciary Committee is fully investigating these serious allegations. Senator Tillis looks forward to hearing directly from Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh on Thursday and participating in a fair, respectful and evidence-based process for all sides,” Keylin said in a statement.

However, Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Burr said he will vote in support of Kavanaugh on the Senate floor, regardless of Thursday’s hearing.

“Democrats made it clear they would stop at nothing to block President Trump’s Supreme Court pick before Judge Kavanaugh was even chosen as the nominee. President Trump has every right to nominate the individual of his choosing to the Supreme Court, and the Senate should go through the normal advice-and-consent process, as it has done for the last 12 weeks,” Burr said in a statement. “Immediately following the conclusion of Thursday’s hearing, the Senate Judiciary Committee should vote up or down on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination. I intend to support Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination when it comes before the full Senate.”

WRAL News asked Burr spokeswoman Caitlin Carroll whether his support could change if unfavorable evidence against Kavanaugh were to come out in the committee hearing.

“He intends to support Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination in the full Senate,” Carroll responded.

Update hourly