Kaine, Collins, Alexander, McConnell

Executive Session (Kavanaugh Nomination)

Senator Kaine: (2:57 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "And that's why our nation gives judges life tenure, so they can render independent rulings without fear of losing their jobs. In a whole series of writings, speeches and rulings over the course of many years both as a lawyer and as a judge, Judge Kavanaugh embraced an unusual deference to executive power. I think this is one of the reasons that the president nominated him, and I don't have confident that Judge Kavanaugh will hold the president accountable to the law. Second, Judge Kavanaugh's writings as a bush administration lawyer, at least those the majority has allowed us to see, demonstrate his personal view that settled law is only settled until five justices decide to do something different."

 

Senator Collins: (3:07 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "It is particularly worrisome that the Supreme Court, the institution that most Americans see as the principle guardian of our shared constitutional heritage is viewed as part of the problem through a political lens. Mr. President, we've heard a lot of charges and countercharges about Judge Kavanaugh, but as those who have known him best have attested, he has been an exemplary public servant, judge, teacher, coach, husband, and father. Despite the turbulent, bitter fight surrounding his nomination, my fervent hope is that Brett Kavanaugh will work to lessen the divisions in the Supreme Court so that we have far fewer 5-4 decisions and so that public confidence in our judiciary and our highest court is restored. Mr. President, I will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh."

 

Senator Alexander: (3:51 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "I saw that 150 people had been interviewed over 25 years about Judge Kavanaugh, that they had been specifically asked the question whether they saw any evidence of alcohol abuse and every single one said no, there was no evidence of sexual impropriety. I want to thank Senator Collins for her insistence on an extra week so that we could have a seventh F.B.I. investigation. I took the time to review that as well. And I saw that no matter how credible Dr. Ford seemed and she did seem credible to me, that no one except Dr. Ford remembers that alleged incident and the other four, as Senator Collins said who Dr. Ford said were there either don't remember it or said it didn't happen. But I think the more important take away from what the senator from Maine has said is that we've reached what she said she hopes is the rock bottom in the senate confirmation process. This is not the way things should be."

 

Senator McConnell: (3:55 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "So those of us who have been in the chamber today had a unique opportunity to listen to a great statesman from Maine once again talk about this institution, how it ought to treat matters like this, and that she's given us the opportunity to think about how we can rise above the depths to which we've sunk during this process. I want to thank the senator from Maine. I've not heard a better speech in my time here and I've been here a while. It was absolutely inspirational."