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Bennet on why he’ll vote no on Kavanaugh

Author: Mark Harden - September 11, 2018 - Updated: September 11, 2018

rural broadbandSen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo. (David Zalubowski, AP file)

No surprise here: U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet says he’ll vote no on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

But now we have the Colorado Democrat’s reasons for voting no, as he declared in an announcement Tuesday:

After reviewing his writings, opinions, and testimony, I have concluded that Judge Kavanaugh will create a new Supreme Court majority that will threaten women’s reproductive rights, roll back essential environmental regulations, and favor large corporations over workers. In addition, his view that sitting presidents may be immune from criminal investigations and subpoenas is particularly troublesome at this moment. For these reasons, I will oppose his nomination.

> RELATED: Bennet blasts ‘rush and secrecy,’ demands White House release full Kavanaugh record

Bennet added:

As I have said many times, I am deeply discouraged by the Senate’s descent into rank partisanship. Regrettably, the Majority’s accession to the administration’s refusal to disclose Judge Kavanaugh’s full record—including nearly 90% of the documents from his time in the Bush White House—represents a further abdication of the Senate’s constitutional responsibility to advise and consent. The hearing was a sham. The American people would be better served by a transparent, deliberate, and bipartisan confirmation process.

> RELATED: Colo.’s senators on opposite sides as confirmation battle brews over Kavanaugh

Shortly after Kavanaugh’s nomination was announced, Bennet said he had “grave concerns” about the choice.

“When Justice Kennedy announced his retirement, I urged the president to appoint a consensus nominee who could earn broad bipartisan support in the Senate and the confidence of the American people,” Bennet said July 9. “Instead, he chose a nominee whose ideology would shift the court’s majority, thereby threatening fundamental rights and failing to check executive power.”

Meanwhile, Colorado’s other U.S. senator, Republican Cory Gardner, said Kavanaugh would make “an incredible Supreme Court justice” on July 26, shortly after meeting the nominee.

“Clearly he is a well-qualified judge who has incredible experience in the federal courts,” Gardner said then. “We had a long conversation about the role of precedent and how a judge should perform on the bench. It’s not about personal opinion, it’s not about personal biases or policy preferences, it’s about looking at the law and ruling on the law and where the law takes you.”

> RELATED: Gardner: Kavanaugh will make “an incredible Supreme Court justice”

Despite the opposition of Bennet and almost all other Democrats in the Senate, most pundits consider it likely that Kavanaugh — President Donald Trump’s second nominee for the Supreme Court — will be confirmed, unless a few moderate Republicans decide to buck their party and vote against him. On the other hand, it’s possible a few red-state Democrats may vote yes.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a vote for Thursday on advancing the Kavanaugh nomination to the full Senate, although Democrats may delay that vote until next week. Senate Republican leaders hope for a confirmation vote by the end of September, ahead of the Supreme Court’s next term in October.

Mark Harden

Mark Harden

Mark Harden is managing editor of Colorado Politics. He previously was news director at the Denver Business Journal; city editor, online news editor, state editor, national editor and popular music critic at The Denver Post; and an editor and reporter at newspapers in the Seattle area and San Francisco.