USA senators take sides on Trump's Supreme Court pick

President Donald Trump talks with Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Kavanaugh’s family after nominating him to the Supreme Court

President Donald Trump talks with Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Kavanaugh’s family after nominating him to the Supreme Court. Alex Brandon AP

The rush to find so-called opposition research came after President Donald Trump on Monday named Kavanaugh as his choice to succeed Justice Anthony Kennedy on the nation's highest court.

A press release by the Women's March organization slamming Kavanaugh received criticism for writing "In response to Donald Trump's nomination of XX to the Supreme Court of the United States", implying that they would oppose whoever the nominee was.

Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmation hearings are expected to be far more contentious.

Kennedy was often a swing vote in the Supreme Court, joining liberal justices to legalize gay marriage and voting with conservatives to throw out campaign-finance restrictions.

This scenario is bad for those vulnerable Senate Democrats, who must either vote against the nominee in states where voters are likely to view Kavanaugh and Trump favorably or risk alienating their Democratic supporters by playing a direct role in the confirmation of a judge that many rank-and-file Democrats find wholly unacceptable.

Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP, told Al Jazeera that his organisation's immediate call of action would be to "have its members across the U.S. express their views to senators in their states and urge them to oppose this nomination". Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) in an effort to overcome the GOP's slim Senate majority. "A solid conservative who interprets the law, who won't make the law".

Some Democrats have called for a hold on the process since Republicans held up former-President Obama's nominee ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

When Trump finally tapped Neil Gorsuch to fill the vacancy, McConnell resorted to changing procedural rules so he could be approved by a simple majority instead of the traditional 60-40 threshold. With ailing Republican John McCain unable to vote, they have little wiggle room.

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The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) was quick to condemn the proposal, saying it will punish American consumers. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch said the announcement "appears reckless and is not a targeted approach".

He believes that even in red states, Democratic senators can cite preserving the Affordable Care Act as the "number one" reason they'd vote against Kavanaugh's confirmation.

At Hatch's office in the Capitol, the senator told reporters he expects Kavanaugh's confirmation to go well.

"It seems to be that if you are running for president on the Democratic side in 2020 or thinking about it, you have to prove you are the most insane person when it comes to Trump nominees", Graham said in the interview with Fox host Martha MacCallum.

Republicans hope to confirm Kavanaugh before the court begins its session in October. Neither the former senator nor Grassley knew much about Kavanaugh beyond the judge's 2006 hearing on his nomination to the federal appeals court for the District of Columbia.

Kavanaugh grew up in Washington as the son of a schoolteacher.

A Democrat prosecutor in Pennsylvania has announced that he has no intention of prosecuting abortions if and when the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that forced states to allow abortion-on-demand. He later joined the administration of President George W. Bush. Orrin Hatch said to Kyl within moments of meeting with Kavanaugh, who stood nearby. They see that as concerning amid the ongoing special counsel probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

University of IL law Professor Andrew Leipold worked with Kavanaugh as part of independent counsel Kenneth Starr's legal team back in the 1990s, investigating former President Bill Clinton.

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