Ohio’s two U.S. Senators met with U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh ahead of what are likely to be heated Senate confirmation hearings.
Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat, said he still has deep concerns his conversation with Kavanaugh, who President Trump nominated to fill the seat vacated by retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.
Brown said Kavanaugh’s decisions as a lower court judge showed a pattern of ruling in favor of corporations and against labor and consumer interests. Nothing in his meeting with the nominee allayed his concern.
Brown also said he found it disingenuous that Kavanaugh shifted his position on presidential power since being an advisor to the Republican effort to impeach President Bill Clinton
“In those days, he thought that the president should be weakened,” Brown said. “And now his comments and biases seem to be to protect this president who nominated him. So, I sense more than a little, at least some, hypocrisy there.”
Brown said he will not make a decision on the nomination until after Kavanaugh’s Senate Hearings.
Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican, was one of four senators who visited the White House on Monday to prep Kavanaugh for the hearings. Portman said he’s confident Kavanaugh will be ready to field questions from the Senate Judiciary committee, including whether he’d overturn Roe v. Wade.
“He’s not going to legislate from the bench,” Portman said. “He’s not going to put his personal philosophy out there. He’s also going to show respect for long-standing precedent.”
Portman supported Kavanaugh since the pick was announced. The committee hearings are scheduled for September 4-7.
Republicans need 50 votes to confirm Kavanaugh and currently hold 51 seats in the Senate.