By Elaina Plott
President Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court offered a rare moment of unity across the Republican Party, pleasing conservatives and offering a measure of relief to establishment Republicans hoping to maintain their congressional majorities in November.
Assuming Democrats vote en bloc—which may or may not happen—Republicans can afford to lose just two votes on Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Accordingly, Senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine, two of the chamber’s most moderate lawmakers, have dominated the spotlight in recent days. Securing their votes “has been the whole ballgame,” one GOP operative told me on Monday. Whether Trump would play, however, was somewhat of an open question: While the president had similarly pleased the GOP in his selection of Justice Neil Gorsuch last year, his unpredictability had some Republicans nevertheless holding their breath.
But play he did. If establishment Republicans had trembled in their support of Trump in recent weeks—whether because of his imposition of steep tariffs on Chinese goods, or his “zero tolerance” immigration policy—they were firmly back in his camp on Monday. Senate GOP leadership, which wants to install the newest justice by the fall, issued glowing remarks about Kavanaugh, a Yale Law graduate who co-wrote independent counsel Kenneth Starr’s report laying out the case for Bill Clinton’s impeachment in the 1990s.
“President Trump has made a superb choice,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in a statement Monday. “Judge Brett Kavanaugh is an impressive nominee who is extremely well qualified to serve as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. … His judicial record demonstrates a firm understanding of the role of a judge in our Republic: Setting aside personal views and political preferences in order to interpret our laws as they are written.”
Collins sent out …read more
Via:: The Atlantic