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Red-State Democrats Call for Kavanaugh Confirmation Delay

Republicans have joined Kevin de León in criticizing Dianne Feinstein in her handling of sexual assault allegations.

Sept. 18, 2018, 11:11 a.m.

Vulnerable Democratic senators on Monday called for a delay in Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation following allegations from California professor Christine Blasey Ford that he sexually assaulted her decades ago.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV): “Professor Christine Blasey Ford deserves to be heard and Judge Kavanaugh deserves a chance to clear his name.” (Twitter)

Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN): “The allegations made against Judge Kavanaugh are serious and merit further review. … I believe the Judiciary Committee should hold off on Thursday’s scheduled vote.” (Washington Post)

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) called it a “serious allegation which should be thoroughly investigated” that should include Ford’s testimony before the Judiciary Committee. (Twitter)

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO): “I am deeply troubled by these allegations. They should be examined thoroughly and fairly by the Judiciary Committee without any artificial timeline.” (Twitter)

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley (R) “also attacked Democrats for surfacing the allegations late in the process of Kavanaugh's confirmation. But Hawley said Ford and Kavanaugh should both testify ‘immediately’ and said ‘allegations of sexual misconduct should never be disregarded.’”

“Republicans have made Kavanaugh’s confirmation — and supporting conservative judges writ large — a central piece of their effort to hold onto the Senate majority this fall.” Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Kevin Cramer (R-ND) “criticized Democrats for bringing up the allegations, called them politicized, and said Kavanaugh’s confirmation should move forward without change.”

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R) “said Democrats had ‘done a disservice’ to Kavanaugh, Ford and the public by ‘politically waiting until the 11th hour to bring forward these accusations.’”

Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV), “who had previously said he had ‘no reservations’ about supporting Kavanaugh, called for Ford to share information about her accusation with the Judiciary Committee.” Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) “said if Heller still had no reservations he ‘isn’t listening to Nevadans.’”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX): “[T]hese allegations are serious and deserve to be treated with respect.”

Reps. Martha McSally (R-AZ) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) both said Ford’s allegation should be investigated. “McSally has been highly supportive of Kavanaugh to this point, while Sinema has yet to declare whether or not she would support him.” (Politico)

Former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen (D): “If U.S senators are not going to give a careful and thorough consideration of Supreme Court nominees, then I don’t know what they think their job is.” (Twitter)

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) “said Monday he supports an investigation.” Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) “did not reply to a question sent Monday morning.” (Tampa Bay Times)

“The fallout from a letter accusing … Kavanaugh of sexual assault continued to spread on Monday, yielding a hearing date next week for Kavanaugh and his accuser—and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) was in the thick of it. … The senior senator and fellow Judiciary Democrats demanded that Senate Judiciary chair Chuck Grassley postpone a vote planned for this week. … While Feinstein has gotten ample praise for her handling of a delicate situation, Republicans are assailing her for waiting to move on the allegations—reframing from the right a critique Feinstein has faced from her left via challenger” state Sen. Kevin de León (D). (Politico)

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