Senate Democrats seeking re-election in mostly-Republican states have to make a decision on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh that could divide their supporters, The Hill reports.
Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Donnelly of Indiana, are considered the most at-risk Democrats. President Donald Trump won their states by a wide margin in 2016, and all three of those senators voted to confirm his previous Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch. However, the senators face much more pressure from the left to oppose Kavanaugh in light of the sexual assault allegations against him.
According to an unnamed Democratic senator who spoke on the condition of anonymity, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is pushing moderate Democrats to wait until after the three undecided Republicans, Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine and Jeff Flake of Arizona, announce their decisions.
“He’s telling them, ‘Keep your powder dry.’ That means you don’t have to decide this — wait and see how it plays out. There’s some speculation that Kavanaugh may not last,” the senator said. “They always vow to stay right until they don’t.”
Last Friday, Heitkamp suggested that the GOP should withdraw Kavanaugh’s nomination and move forward with a different candidate.
“There’s a lot of lawyers in America who can sit on the court,” the senator said at a campaign stop in North Dakota, according to The Associated Press. “I think this idea that there’s only one person that can do this job, we all need to recalibrate.”
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