Pro-life Republican Rand Paul said Monday he will support Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court after initially expressing concerns about some of the judge’s decisions.
“After meeting Judge Kavanaugh and reviewing his record, I have decided to support his nomination,” the Kentucky senator said in a statement.
With Republicans holding just a narrow, two-member majority in the U.S. Senate, every vote to confirm the conservative justice matters. Paul, a strong pro-life politician from Kentucky, was considered a swing vote earlier this month after he said he disagrees with Kavanaugh’s stance on privacy issues and the Fourth Amendment.
On Monday, however, he removed all doubt about his position on President Donald Trump’s second Supreme Court nominee, the Washington Examiner reports.
“Each nominee … must be judged on the totality of their views, character, and opinions,” Paul said. “I have expressed my concern over Judge Kavanaugh’s record on warrantless bulk collection of data and how that might apply to very important privacy cases before the Supreme Court.
“Judge Kavanaugh will be more open to a Fourth Amendment that protects digital records and property,” Paul said.
Kavanaugh’s confirmation rests with several U.S. Senators who often are swing votes on abortion and other issues. Two fellow Republican Senators, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine, are being heavily lobbied by the abortion industry to oppose Kavanaugh. Both have pro-abortion voting records, but they did vote to confirm Trump’s first nominee, Justice Neil Gorsuch, to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2017.
Other swing votes include several moderately pro-life Democrats, U.S. Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Joe Donnelly of Indiana. U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr. of Pennsylvania, who claims to be pro-life, already has said he will oppose Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
Pro-life Vice President Mike Pence also can serve as a tie-breaking vote, as he has on other pro-life legislation in the past.
With so many unknowns, every U.S. Senator’s vote is important to the future of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said they will vote prior to the mid-term elections on confirming Kavanaugh.
A federal judge, Kavanaugh has served on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for D.C. for more than a decade, where he developed an extensive record of protecting religious liberty and enforcing restrictions on abortion. Pro-life leaders believe he would do the same on the U.S. Supreme Court.
National pro-life leaders have expressed high hopes for Kavanaugh and the future of unborn babies’ rights.