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People attend a rally against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, at the U.S. Capitol on August 1, 2018 in Washington, DC.

People attend a rally against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, at the U.S. Capitol on August 1, 2018 in Washington, DC. Kavanaugh, President Trump's pick to replace Anthony Kennedy, continues to meet with senators on Capitol Hill. (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Only Reason for Dem to Meet With Trump Nominee Kavanaugh: 'To Tell Him Directly to His Face That They Will Oppose His Confirmation'

Progressive group denounces meetings a handful of Seante Democrats are holding with Trump's conservative pick for Supreme Court justice

Andrea Germanos

Amid continued concerns over the threats posed to reproductive rights, the planet, consumers, human rights, workers, healthcare, net neutrality, and the overall common good by President Donald Trump's Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh, one progressive group denounced scheduled meetings between the far-right nominee and some Senate Democrats as "a needless capitulation" to Republicans.

"The only good reason for a Democratic senator to meet with Brett Kavanaugh is to tell him directly to his face that they will oppose his confirmation," declared CREDO Action co-director Heidi Hess on Wednesday. "Anything less is not just a complete waste of time, it is also a needless capitulation to the Republican lie that Kavanaugh is a fair jurist worthy of consideration for a seat on the Supreme Court."

Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) and Joe Donnelly (Ind.)—both up for reelection in states Trump won—are scheduled to meet with Kavanaugh on Wednesday. Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) already met with him last week, while Sen. Claire McCaskill (Mo.) is scheduled to meet with him next week. 

Three of those four—Donnelly, Heitkamp, and Manchin—voted with Republicans to confirm Trump's other Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, which drew ire from progressives.

In her comments, Hess pointed to the lack of party leadership from Sen. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.).

"If Sen. Schumer does not figure out how to unite and lead Senate Democrats in opposition to Kavanaugh's confirmation—and fast—the American people will suffer the consequences for a generation," Hess added.

Even if the caucus is united in opposition, Democrats won't have enough votes to block his confirmation without the help of the GOP. He needs 51 votes in the Senate to be confirmed, and Republicans hold 51 seats, putting focus on so-called "moderate" Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Susan Collins (Maine) as potential no votes.

Seizing upon that potential, healthcare activists targeted Collins' office in Portland, Maine last weekend, with former Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards saying that blocking Kavanaugh required an "all hands on deck" effort.

Kavanaugh begins his hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 4.


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