Dianne Feinstein announces Brett Kavanaugh opposition

September 16, 2018 GMT

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California announced plans Sunday to formally oppose Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, saying justices “should not be an extension of the Republican Party.”

Ms. Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said she was troubled by how the nominee had been vetted, citing a lack of documents on Judge Kavanaugh’s career with the Bush administration.

But, she wrote in the L.A. Times, her decision was determined by the “very real-world implications” of placing him on the court.

“We already knew that Judge Kavanaugh held highly ideological views on the 2nd Amendment, women’s reproductive rights and the executive power of the presidency. Judge Kavanaugh’s testimony shed new light on these positions and on his loyalty to President Trump and his political agenda,” she wrote. “Supreme Court justices should not be an extension of the Republican Party. They must also have unquestionable character and integrity, and serious questions remain about Judge Kavanaugh in this regard, as indicated in information I referred to the FBI.”


The senator was referring to her handling of a decades-old unsubstantiated sexual assault allegation against Judge Kavanaugh.

Some critics said the senator should have gone public earlier with information she received about a woman who claims Judge Kavanaugh, as a high school student, tried to force himself on her at a student party.

Judge Kavanaugh strenuously denied the claims, and top Republicans have no plans to delay a Sept. 20 vote on the nominee in committee.

Ms. Feinstein’s opposition is not a surprise, though she outlined her reasons for it in the op-ed.

She said she is worried Judge Kavanaugh will chip away at the Roe v. Wade decision that extended abortion as a legal right and make it harder for women to access contraception.

She also accused the judge of using partisan language during his confirmation hearing, such as plans to “harden” schools to prevent mass shootings and referring to certain contraceptives as “abortion-inducing drugs,” though fact-checkers note he was referring to language used by litigants.

She also questioned his commitment to civil rights, saying he will look the other way when states enact strict voter-ID laws, and claimed Judge Kavanaugh will be too quick to side with powerful corporations.