Virginia Democratic Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner will vote to oppose Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court.
A full Senate vote is likely to take place by the end of this month.
Kavanaugh is a Washington D.C.-based Circuit Court judge who was nominated by President Donald Trump. Democrats have been concerned about his stance regarding Roe v. Wade, and Kaine and Warner said he doesn’t seem willing to check executive power.
Kavanaugh’s hearing was controversial because some Democratic lawmakers were dissatisfied that hundreds of pages of Kavanaugh’s records weren’t released prior to his hearing. Kavanaugh’s appointment to the court would also tip it toward being a more reliably conservative court.
Warner said Kavanaugh’s confirmation process has been the least transparent in recent history because of the unreleased documents and Kavanaugh’s inability to answer questions during his Senate hearing this week.
“Much of Judge Kavanaugh’s record and judicial philosophy remain a mystery to the American people,” Warner wrote in a statement. “But what we have seen provides reason enough to vote against this nominee.”
Kavanaugh refused to answer whether it’s constitutional for presidents to be investigated and if presidents could fire a prosecutor investigating him or her, Warner said. That’s especially important given investigations swirling around President Trump, Warner said.
“In this country, no one, not even the president, is above the law,” Warner wrote in his statement.
Kaine said he didn’t need to see all of Kavanaugh’s record to decide on his vote.
“After meeting with him, reviewing his record and watching his hearing, Judge Kavanaugh has clearly failed to show he would be an independent check against executive power,” Kaine tweeted earlier this week. “He would threaten Supreme Court precedent on women’s health, marriage equality, and more.”
Kaine and Warner’s stance might not matter if Senate Republicans can hold their party together. However, pressure is mounting on moderates like Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who got thousands of coat hangers mailed to her office to symbolize the threat to abortion rights some see in Kavanaugh, a conservative Catholic.