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Heitkamp To Vote Against Kavanaugh's Supreme Court Nomination


One of the few remaining publicly undecided Senators has revealed she will vote against confirming Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., announced her decision on Thursday, citing concerns about Kavanaugh's past conduct as well as his current temperament, honesty, and impartiality.

Heitkamp said she voted in favor of President Donald Trump's first Supreme Court nominee Justice Neil Gorsuch because she felt his legal ability and temperament qualified him to serve on the court.

"Judge Kavanaugh is different," Heitkamp said. "When considering a lifetime appointment to Supreme Court, we must evaluate the totality of the circumstances and record before us."

"In addition to the concerns about his past conduct, last Thursday's hearing called into question Judge Kavanaugh's current temperament, honesty, and impartiality," she added. "These are critical traits for any nominee to serve on the highest court in our country."

Kavanaugh has received both praise and criticism for his fiery testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last Thursday, when he lashed out at the Democratic members of the committee and slammed his confirmation process as a "national disgrace."

In her statement, Heitkamp argued both Democrats and Republicans handled the process around Kavanaugh's nomination horribly and called for politics to be taken out of the Supreme Court as much as possible.

Heitkamp also described testimony by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault, as "heartfelt, credible, and persuasive."

"There are many extremely qualified candidates to serve on the Court," Heitkamp said. "I'm ready to work with the President to confirm a nominee who is suited for the honor and distinction of serving this lifetime appointment."

The announcement by Heitkamp comes as Senators from both parties review the results of the FBI's supplemental investigation of sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh.

Heitkamp was seen as a potential supporter of Kavanaugh's nomination, as she is up for re-election in a state Trump won by more than 35 percentage points in the 2016 presidential election.

With Heitkamp's decision, Senator Joe Manchin, D-W.V., is the last remaining undecided Democrat on Kavanaugh's nomination.

Republican Senators Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, have also not publicly revealed how they intend to vote after reviewing the FBI's report.

The GOP can only afford to lose the support of one Republican and still confirm Kavanaugh with a tie-breaking vote by Vice President Mike Pence.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ken., filed cloture on Kavanaugh's nomination Wednesday evening, setting up a critical procedural vote on Friday.

If Republicans have the votes to cut off debate on Kavanaugh's nomination, a final vote on his confirmation to the Supreme Court could be held as early as Saturday.

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