BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Sen. Heidi Heitkamp says she had a thorough discussion with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as she considered how she'll vote on his nomination.

The North Dakota Democrat is seen as a key vote on Kavanaugh, a District of Columbia appellate judge nominated by President Donald Trump.

Heitkamp says she met privately with Kavanaugh on Wednesday for about 75 minutes.

She says she stressed the importance of the rule of law and precedent in the court, as well as making sure it's shielded from politics.

Heitkamp says she'll "closely study" his answers at a Senate hearing in determining how she'll vote.

She was one of only three Democrats who supported Neil Gorsuch's nomination to the Supreme Court last year.