According to this report in Politico Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is urging his caucus to sandbag the confirmation process of President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
“All Chuck ever says in caucus [meetings], it’s pretty well known: ‘Keep your powder dry. Don’t commit. Stay as neutral as you can, as long as you can,’” Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin is quoted as saying. “It gives him some room to maneuver.”
Senator Heidi Heitkamp seems to be following orders. Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia who is also on the ballot this cycle in a Trump state, has scheduled a meeting with Kavanaugh.
[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]I reached out to Senator Heitkamp’s staff for comment last week on why their boss hasn’t set a meeting with Kavanaugh yet but, as is usually the case, I got no response.[/mks_pullquote]
By contrast Senator Heitkamp has not.
Republicans are critical of the delay, as you might imagine. “Heidi Heitkamp needs to stop the political games and deliver what folks in North Dakota want: a fully functioning Supreme Court,” NRSC Spokesman Michael McAdams said in a statement released this morning. “Instead of waiting for Chuck Schumer to make a decision, Kevin Cramer has stood with voters and strongly supported Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination and that’s exactly the type of leadership North Dakota needs.”
For what it’s worth, a poll commissioned by the Judicial Crisis Network (a group which is supporting Kavanaugh’s confirmation) showed that some 60 percent of North Dakotans support confirmation.
I reached out to Senator Heitkamp’s staff for comment last week on why their boss hasn’t set a meeting with Kavanaugh yet but, as is usually the case, I got no response.
Heitkamp has been largely mum on the Kavanaugh question, no doubt because of how politically fraught a question it is for her this election year, but has released a statement previously where she said she will “thoroughly review and vet” him.
Which is all well and good, but do you suppose a good spot to start in that process might be a meeting with the guy?
Heitkamp often touts her “independence” on the campaign trail, yet in this instance seems to be in lock-step with Schumer’s game plan for stopping Kavanaugh’s confirmation.