Rand Paul Says He Will Vote Yes on SCOTUS Nominee Brett Kavanaugh

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President Donald Trump's nominee to be the next Supreme Court justice snagged a key Republican senator's support on Monday: Kentucky's Rand Paul.

Paul's support could prove critical to the White House's effort to secure the votes needed for Kavanaugh to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.

In the most recent HuffPost/YouGov survey, a third of Americans say that the Supreme Court will be very important to their vote in the midterms.

Paul had expressed concerns over Kavanaugh's positions on privacy issues, but said the conservative appeals court judge had eased them when the two met last week.

- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) July 30, 2018My conversation with Judge Kavanaugh reinforces my belief that he will evaluate cases before the Supreme Court from a textual and originalist point of view.

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"As the senator from West Virginia, I have a constitutional responsibility to advise and consent on a nominee to fill Supreme Court vacancies and I take that responsibility seriously", he said in a statement. And on Friday, after negotiations with Democrats failed to produce a consensus on what documents should be sought ahead of a hearing on Kavanaugh's nomination, Grassley went ahead with a request to the Bush library for documents related to his work for the White House.

Politico doesn't charge for access to its website, and one reason is headlines like this from Monday: "Inside Democrats' strategy to defeat Kavanaugh: Schumer is pushing red-state Democrats to stay neutral for as long as possible and raising pressure on moderate Republicans". With Senate control slimly held by Republicans 51-49, Democrats can't block Kavanaugh's nomination outright if Republicans hold together.

Manchin wrote on Twitter that it had been a productive meeting but he was undecided.

Senate Republicans are pledging a swift confirmation process that would elevate Kavanaugh, now a judge on the federal appeals court in Washington, before the Supreme Court's new term convenes October 1. The letter also asks for any documents that were "written by, edited by, prepared in whole or part by, under the supervision of, or at the direction of" Kavanaugh, and any record that refers to him by name, his initials or his title. Democrats can sink Trump's nominee if they hold together and convince a single Republican to vote no. Mr. Paul had expressed some misgivings about the judge's views on collecting metadata and other libertarian hobby-horses. Donnelly and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota were the others. Susan Collins, R-Maine or Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, don't pull a surprise 180 and turn on Trump's nominee.

While Republicans are united behind Brett Kavanaugh's seemingly inevitable confirmation, they're divided on the idea of a government shutdown.