‘Disastrous': New England Lawmakers React to Trump's Kavanaugh Nomination

New England lawmakers and leaders are reacting to President Donald Trump's nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Kavanaugh, a judge for the D.C. Circuit's Court of Appeals, was named as an associate justice nominee Monday evening, less than two weeks after Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement from the bench.


Democratic U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren tweeted she was voting against putting Kavanaugh on the country's highest court, saying his "record as a judge and lawyer is clear: hostile to health care for millions, opposed to the CFPB & corporate accountability, thinks Presidents like Trump are above the law — and conservatives are confident that he will overturn Roe v. Wade."

U.S. Sen. Ed Markey urged his fellow senators to vote against Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court.

"It should come as no surprise that a president under federal investigation would nominate a judge who has written about the inadvisability of indicting a sitting U.S. president and the need to delay civil legal proceedings against one," he said in a statement.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey urged U.S. senators to vote against his nomination.

"Judge Kavanaugh would be the deciding vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. He would be the deciding vote to allow insurance companies to deny health care to children with preexisting conditions. He opposes common sense gun reforms. The extremity of his views and his opinions should be a warning to the members of Senate who will now consider his nomination," she said in a statement.

U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark, a Democrat representing the Bay State's 5th District, slammed the president's announcement.

"Trump said it himself: he would appoint a judge that's anti-choice, anti-#ACA, and anti-worker. Well, tonight, he made this reality through the nomination of #BrettKavanaugh," she tweeted. "So much is at stake, from voting rights to gun regulations. We must stand up & insist that our next #SCOTUS Justice defends our freedoms, not erode them. #WhatsAtStake"

U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton, a Democrat representing the 6th District, simply tweeted, "Don't despair. Vote."


In a statement, Democratic U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen said she was looking forward meeting with Kavanaugh and reviewing his judicial record, but said that the meeting would come with a discussion on "a number of key issues that underscore the indispensable values of freedom and equality."

"I will only support Judge Kavanaugh's nomination if he protects the civil rights and freedoms enshrined in the Constitution," she said.

Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan said she has concerns about Kavanaugh, but she will review his record and responses during the nomination process.

"Judge Kavanaugh must be clear about how he views the importance of legal precedent and straightforward in his answers about past cases involving women's reproductive rights, health care, the environment, LGBTQ equality, and the civil rights of all Americans," she said.

"Remember how Mitch McConnell's rule shut out [Merrick] Garland's nomination for almost a year? No #SCOTUS confirmation until the people's voice is heard on Election Day," U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter tweeted. "The future of Roe v. Wade, voting rights, and LGBTQ equality is at stake — let the people have their say."


In a series of tweets, U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, a Democrat, said Kavanaugh was picked because he would overturn abortion rights and called him a "true Second Amendment radical."

Richard Blumenthal, a Democratic U.S. senator, tweeted, "I'm voting no."

Gov. Dannel Malloy called Kavanaugh's nomination "disastrous."

"Regardless of whether he is confirmed, we must uphold Connecticut's laws to ensure that abortion remains safe and legal in our state,' he said in a statement.


U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican whose vote will be closely watched, said Kavanaugh "has impressive credentials and extensive experience," but added that she will be watching his public hearing and will question him during a meeting in her office.

Independent U.S. Sen. Angus King called Trump's search for and ultimate selection of a Supreme Court nominee "troubling."

"I've voted against ideologically extreme judges who do not reflect Maine's values a number of times before, and, if my research indicates that Judge Kavanaugh is another such nominee, I will not hesitate to do so again," he said.

Gov. Paul LePage applauded Trump's SCOTUS pick on social media Monday evening.

"It's critical our jurists are of the highest character. Thank you @realDonaldTrump for your thoughtful appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to @Scotus to replace Justice Kennedy," the Republican governor tweeted. "I thank Justice Kennedy for his service & look forward to Judge Kavanaugh's confirmation. #ScotusPick @POTUS"


In a statement, U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, warned that Kavanaugh faces a "heavy burden" in his upcoming nomination process as he meets with senators.

"The Constitution doesn't direct the President to nominate justices to the Supreme Court with the advice and consent of the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation. That is the role specified by the Constitution of the United States Senate," he said in a statement.

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders said he's opposed to Kavanaugh's nomination, warning that he will be "a rubber-stamp for an extreme, right-wing agenda pushed by corporations and billionaires. We must mobilize the American people to defeat Trump's right-wing, reactionary nominee."


U.S. Sen. Jack Reed tweeted he opposed Kavanaugh being selected to a lower court and "don't think he's a good fit for a promotion to #SCOTUS now."

Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse was also critical of Kavanaugh's nomination.

"Special interests approved this nominee," he said in a statement. "The confirmation process will be powered by massive, secretive spending by their phony front groups. That's why Brett Kavanaugh must convince me he can actually be independent. I, along with the American people, will not tolerate a rigged system anymore."

Democratic Congressman Jim Langevin said he's concerned the country will miss Kennedy's independent voice if Kavanaugh is confirmed.

"While I do not have a role in the confirmation process, it is critical that my colleagues in the Senate subject Judge Kavanaugh to a careful vetting process and fully consider the impact of his future decisions on the lives of the American people," he said.

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