With President Trump’s Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh set to face a fierce confirmation battle, members of the Senate are already taking sides on the issue.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is insisting that all Democrats fall in line and oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination. For moderate Democrats, however, the issue isn’t that simple. Many of those moderate Democrats are from “red states,” who voted heavily for President Trump.
Opposing Trump’s Supreme Court nominee could be political suicide back home, as most of them face re-election races in the fall. Many of those congressional Democrats are already signaling that they may consider voting for Kavanaugh, and they are pushing back against Schumer’s strong-arm tactics.
One of those “red state” Democrats, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, told Politico that he didn’t appreciate Schumer’s attempt to “whip” Senate Democrats together in opposition.
“I’ll be 71 years old in August, you’re going to whip me? Kiss my you know what,” Sen. Manchin told Politico of Schumer’s efforts.
Chuck Schumer says he’s going to fight Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court with “everything I’ve got.” To do so, he’ll need to get centrist Democrats to hold the line.
Kavanaugh’s nomination is already a huge headache for the Senate minority leader. Not only is he under pressure from the left to tank the nominee, Schumer also has a half-dozen vulnerable members from red and purple states up for reelection this fall. To defeat Kavanaugh, Schumer has to keep all 49 of his members in tow and convince at least one moderate Republican to break ranks.
But it could prove impossible for Schumer to persuade senators like Manchin, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Donnelly of Indiana to vote against Kavanaugh. All three supported Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch last year, and all three say that their decision won’t be swayed by Schumer no matter what he does this year.
“My decision won’t have anything to do with Chuck Schumer,” Donnelly said.
“I’m going to vote the way I’m going to vote regardless of what the leader says,’ Heitkamp said.
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