President Donald Trump’s nominee to be the next Supreme Court justice snagged a key Republican senator’s support on Monday: Kentucky’s Rand Paul.
In a statement, Paul said he has “decided to support his nomination” after meeting with and reviewing Kavanaugh's record.
“No one will ever completely agree with a nominee (unless, of course, you are the nominee). Each nominee, however, must be judged on the totality of their views, character, and opinions,” Paul said in his statement Monday.
Paul had withheld his support in recent weeks over concerns about Kavanaugh’s standing on privacy issues and the Fourth Amendment.
“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,” Paul said.
He continued: “In reviewing his record on other privacy cases like Jones, and through my conversation with him, I have hope that in light of the new precedent in Carpenter v. United States, Judge Kavanaugh will be more open to a Fourth Amendment that protects digital records and property.”
President Trump thanked Paul in a tweet.
On Monday, Kavanaugh met with Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin for nearly two hours. Manchin is the first Democrat he has met with since his nomination was announced.
Manchin is one of a handful of vulnerable incumbent Democrats vying to hold on to his seat in the midterm election this fall. He has not said if he plans to support Kavanaugh but has expressed a willingness to remain open-minded about Kavanaugh’s qualifications and record.
With Republican Sen. John McCain still back home in Arizona battling brain cancer, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can’t afford to lose a single Republican vote.
All eyes remain on GOP Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine, who have bucked the Republican Party on previous issues dealing with women’s reproductive rights.