Senate

Tester to oppose Kavanaugh

Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) said Friday that he will oppose Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination.

Tester said Friday that he has a myriad of "concerns" about Kavanaugh, but could not get an in-person meeting with him to discuss the issues.

"I have concerns that Judge Kavanaugh defended the PATRIOT Act instead of Montanans' privacy. I have concerns about his support for more dark money in politics. I have concerns about who he believes is in charge of making personal health decisions," Tester said.

Tester added that he had "deep concerns about the allegations of sexual assault against Judge Kavanaugh."

Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, the first of Kavanaugh's accusers to come forward publicly, testified before the Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

Tester noted that because he couldn't schedule a meeting with Kavanaugh the "only information I have is from what he said in his hearing."

Republicans don't need Tester's vote to confirm Kavanaugh. They have a 51-seat majority and can lose one senator before they need help from Democrats.

No Republican senator has said she or he will oppose Kavanaugh. Moderate GOP Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) are the two Republican senators who remain undecided.

Tester is the latest Democrat from a state President Trump won in 2016 to say he will oppose Kavanaugh.

Democratic Sens. Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Bill Nelson (Fla.) and Doug Jones (Ala.) also announced their opposition following Thursday's hearing.

Tester and Nelson did not support Trump's first Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, and were viewed as likely 'no' votes on Kavanaugh.

Donnelly was one of three Democrats who supported Gorsuch. Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) remain undecided.

-- Updated 12:41 p.m.

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