July 9, 2018

Senators criticize Trump’s process for choosing Supreme Court nominee

White House

Swearing-in Ceremony for Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

Both of New Mexico’s Democratic U.S. Senators signaled opposition to the process used by President Donald Trump to nominate Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court.

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall criticized the process and said Kavanaugh was chosen after being put on a “pre-approved list concocted by radical, far-right special interests that are committed to undermining a woman’s right to choose, health care protections, safeguards for workers and seniors, LGBTQ rights, and a host of other critical public protections that touch the lives of every New Mexican and every American.”

Udall said the Senate “should not consider this nomination legitimate until we return to a real advise and consent process as required by the Constitution.”

Heinrich was more circumspect, but still said in a statement, “I refuse to legitimize the broken system Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has created on President Trump’s behalf. We need to remedy both the political obstruction and broken rules that have led us into this terrible mess before confirming anymore nominees that will be tainted by it.”

Heinrich will face Republican Mick Rich and Libertarian Aubrey Dunn in the general election this fall.

Rich praised the choice of Kavanaugh.

“He has a strong record of upholding our constitution and laws on the federal bench, and I urge the U.S. Senate to act swiftly to hold hearings and vote on this nomination,” Rich said.

Kavanaugh would need to get the votes from a majority of the U.S. Senate to become the next Supreme Court Justice. Republicans currently have a narrow majority.

Trump chose Kavanaugh to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, a conservative justice who served as the court’s swing vote on many key cases, from Citizens United to challenges to the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.

Kavanaugh, a federal appeals court judge who once investigated president Bill Clinton, is considered much more conservative than Kennedy and is considered likely to remain very conservative while on the nation’s high court.

While other elected officials may weigh in, only Senators have a say in whether or not Kavanaugh becomes a Supreme Court Justice.