Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia became the first Democrat in the chamber to meet with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, and after the two-hour private session Monday the senator said he won't decide how to vote until after a confirmation hearing.
In a statement, Paul said he has "decided to support his nomination" after meeting with and reviewing Kavanaugh's record. As one of the most libertarian-leaning Republican senators, Paul disagreed with Kavanaugh's support for warrantless collection of communications metadata by the United States government in the interest of national security.
"My conversation with Judge Kavanaugh reinforces my belief that he will evaluate cases before the Supreme Court from a textual and originalist point of view", Mr. Paul said.
Paul's initial concerns over Kavanaugh involved the judge's record on privacy.
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At a Congressional hearing last month, Rosenstein responded to charges by Jordan that he was "hiding information from Congress". With their impeachment articles, the most conservative House lawmakers made clear that they'd be on Trump's side of the battle.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Thursday that Kavanaugh himself has portrayed his three years as Bush's staff secretary, from July 2003 to May 2006, as "the most interesting and, in many ways, among the most instructive" to his work as a federal appeals court judge.
Manchin wrote on Twitter that it had been a productive meeting but he was undecided. "I believe he will carefully adhere to the Constitution and will take his job to protect individual liberty seriously", Paul said.
Manchin is one of a handful of vulnerable incumbent Democrats vying to hold on to his seat in the midterm election this fall. He said he is also not anxious about a flurry of advertising pressuring him to confirm Kavanaugh. Mr. Paul had expressed some misgivings about the judge's views on collecting metadata and other libertarian hobby-horses.
Further, Murkowski and Collins support abortion rights and Kavanaugh has been seen by abortion supporters as a potential fifth vote to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion. A 55 percent majority of those who want their senators to vote against Kavanaugh say they consider the issue very important, as do 45 percent of those who favor his confirmation.
Meanwhile, the conservative Judicial Crisis Network has run ads in West Virginia highlighting Mr. Manchin's choice of backing Mr. Trump or siding with Democratic leaders.