Rand Paul ‘concerned’ about Kavanaugh

Rand Paul ‘concerned’ about Kavanaugh
© Greg Nash

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulHillicon Valley: Trump escalates feud with intel critics | Tesla shares fall after troubling Musk interview | House panel considers subpoena for Twitter's Jack Dorsey | Why Turkish citizens are breaking their iPhones Overnight Defense: Trump cancels military parade, blames DC for cost | DC mayor hits back | Pentagon warns China 'likely' training for strikes against US | Turkey refuses to release US pastor On Russia we need diplomacy, not just sanctions MORE (R-Ky.) said Sunday that he’s “undecided” on President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhite House counsel called Trump 'King Kong' behind his back: report Trump stays out of Arizona's ugly and costly GOP fight Trump claims he instructed White House counsel to cooperate with Mueller MORE's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, citing concerns with the judge’s rulings on issues of privacy and the Fourth Amendment.

Paul said on “Fox & Friends” that he’s keeping an open mind to Kavanaugh’s nomination and plans to meet with the judge in the coming weeks. But Paul said he’s “concerned” about the judge, pointing to his opinion in the case of Klayman v. Obama.

Paul — who has long been a critic of government overreach on matters of civil liberties — has taken issue with Kavanaugh’s writing in the case, in which the judge said the “government’s metadata program is entirely consistent with the Fourth Amendment.”

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“I am worried though, and perhaps disappointed, that I think Kavanaugh will cancel out [Justice Neil] Gorsuch’s vote on the Fourth Amendment,” Paul said. 

“There are 10 rights or 10 amendments listed in the Bill of Rights and so the Fourth Amendment is one of them,” Paul said. “So, we’re already down one of them, let’s see how he does on the other nine.” 

The senator added that he plans to have a “frank discussion” with Kavanaugh, but acknowledged that Supreme Court nominees don’t often provide much information in such conversations.

“But I think the conversation is useful, and I think it’s worth him hearing that I don’t think anybody in America believes that when you use a cell phone company, or when you use Visa, or when you us a bank that somehow you’ve given up your privacy,” Paul said.

Trump nominated Kavanaugh last week to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Paul could prove a key swing vote in the upcoming nomination process.

Republicans hold a 51-49 majority in the Senate, but with Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainThe Hill's 12:30 Report Senate gets to work in August — but many don’t show up Rand Paul’s Russia visit displays advancement of peace through diplomacy MORE (R-Ariz.) battling brain cancer at his home in Arizona, the GOP can ill afford any defections.