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Rand Paul: 'I am honestly undecided’ on Kavanaugh

Rand Paul: 'I am honestly undecided’ on Kavanaugh
© Greg Nash

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard Paul15 Senate Republicans pledge to oppose lifting earmark ban The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - CDC in limbo on J&J vax verdict; Rep. Brady retiring Anti-Asian hate crimes bill overcomes first Senate hurdle MORE (R-Ky.) is still unsure about whether he will vote for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh because of concerns about the judge's position on privacy and the Fourth Amendment, Politico reported on Monday.

Paul is a key vote in Kavanaugh's confirmation through the Senate, and if he decided to vote against the nominee it could block Kavanaugh's entry to the high court. 

"I am honestly undecided," Paul said last week in an interview with Politico published on Monday. "I am very concerned about his position on privacy and the Fourth Amendment. This is not a small deal for me. This is a big deal."

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"Kavanaugh’s position is basically that national security trumps privacy. And he said it very strongly and explicitly. And that worries me,” Paul was quoted as saying.

The Kentucky senator has taken issue with Kavanaugh's previous stance on government data collection, according to Politico. In a 2015 opinion as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Kavanaugh wrote that "critical national security need outweighs the impact on privacy occasioned by this program."

The Republicans' slim 51-49 majority in the Senate means that only a handful of Republican senators and red-state Democrats will likely determine the fate of Kavanaugh's nomination. 

Paul has previously expressed reservations about Kavanaugh because of the judge's position on privacy and the Fourth Amendment. 

The Kentucky senator often takes antagonistic stances against his own party as the Senate's most visible libertarian-leaning GOP member. He came out against Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - All US adults now eligible for COVID vaccines Parade of 2024 GOP hopefuls court House conservatives Pompeo violated ethics rules, State Dept. watchdog finds MORE and CIA Director Gina Haspel — though he ultimately voted for Pompeo. 

Kavanaugh on Friday returned a hefty questionnaire and more than 2,000 pages of accompanying material to the Senate Judiciary Committee.