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Kavanaugh begins fight for confirmation

Reuters

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, left, greets Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh, center, and Vice Preisdent Mike Pence on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday.

The Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Conservative Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh plunged into his confirmation battle Tuesday, meeting face-to-face with Senate leaders in what promises to be an intense debate over abortion rights, presidential power and other legal disputes that could reshape the court and roil this fall’s elections.

Kavanaugh is a favorite of the GOP legal establishment, and his arrival as U.S. President Donald Trump’s nominee was greeted on Capitol Hill with praise from Republicans and skepticism from Democrats. There were also pledges of open minds by key senators whose votes will most likely determine the outcome.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky called Kavanagh “one of the most thoughtful jurists” in the country but warned of an onslaught of “fear mongering” from liberal groups trying to derail the nomination. He said it was clear that many Democrats “didn’t care who the nominee was at all. Whoever President Trump put up they were opposed to.”

Chuck Schumer, the Senate’s Democratic leader, said his party’s lawmakers did indeed care who the nominee was — and what his views were on such thorny issues as abortion and Trump himself.

Trump “did exactly what he said he would do on the campaign trail — nominate someone who will overturn women’s reproductive rights,” the New York senator said.

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