Senate

2020 White House contenders race to oppose Trump’s pick

Greg Nash

Several Democratic senators considered contenders for the party’s 2020 White House nomination quickly came out in opposition to Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s Supreme Court pick. 

Democratic Sens. Cory Booker (N.J.), Kamala Harris (Calif.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.) were among the senators who said on Monday night that they would oppose Kavanaugh. 
 
“Judge Brett Kavanaugh represents a direct and fundamental threat to that promise of equality and so I will oppose his nomination to the Supreme Court. Specifically, as a replacement for Justice Anthony Kennedy, his nomination presents an existential threat to the health care of hundreds of millions of Americans,” Harris, 53, said in a statement just minutes after Trump announced his selection. 
 
{mosads}Booker, 49, added separately that Kavanaugh should be a “non-starter” for every senator. 
 
“The nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court is enormously concerning and I’m strongly opposed to it,” he said. 
 
Gillibrand, in a series of tweets, said that she would “stand by my pledge to vote no” on Trump’s nominee.
 
“The American people deserve the opportunity to make their voices heard in November about this lifetime appointment,” Gillibrand, 51, said.
The growing Democratic opposition to Kavanaugh’s nomination came after Trump announced him as his choice to succeed retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. 
 
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) also urged opposition to Kavanaugh’s nomination during a Facebook Q&A shortly after Trump’s announcement. 

 
“We’re going to do everything we can to prevent” him from being seated, Sanders, 76, said during the Facebook event. 
 
Contenders for the party’s 2020 White House nomination have led the caucus since last year in opposing most of Trump’s nominees amid pressure from a resurgent liberal base to play hardball with the administration. 
 
In addition to potential White House contenders, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) pledged to oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination and urged the Senate to reject it
 
Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, also said on Monday night that he would oppose the nominee.  
 
But Democrats don’t have the ability to block Trump’s nominee on their own. 
 
After GOP senators got rid of the 60-vote filibuster for Supreme Court nominees last year, a nominee only needs a simple majority, so Republicans could confirm Kavanaugh without help from Democrats if their caucus remains united. 
 
Their 51-seat majority is currently capped at 50 with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) absent as he battles brain cancer. 
 
Three Democrats previously voted for Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch.
Tags Bernie Sanders Charles Schumer Chris Van Hollen Cory Booker Donald Trump John McCain Kirsten Gillibrand
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