Vice President Mike Pence laid into Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) on Tuesday for opposing — but not meeting with — Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court.
“Judge Brett Kavanaugh is a man of integrity, with a proven record of support for limited government, the Second Amendment and religious liberty, and he deserves the support of every member of the United States Senate,” Pence said during a speech in Cincinnati, Ohio.
“And I call on Sen. Sherrod Brown today to set politics aside. Senator, give our nominee a fair hearing and the support he deserves. If Sherrod Brown won’t vote to confirm a judge like Brett Kavanaugh, Ohio needs to send us a new senator who will.”
Trump nominated Kavanaugh (pictured above center) on July 9 to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) has scheduled Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing to begin September 4.
Democrats led by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) have been demanding thousands of documents on his court opinions and writings. They are also demanding more than 1 million documents from his years working for President George W. Bush in the White House.
Kavanaugh served in the White House as a senior associate counsel and assistant to the former president.
The Senate subsequently confirmed him when Bush nominated him to his current post.
Brown, like all but one of his Democrat colleagues in the Senate, thus far refuses to meet with Kavanaugh. But Brown represents Ohio, a somewhat red state that went for Trump in the 2016 presidential election against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Brown has been popular in Ohio, but he faces Rep. Jim Renaci (R-Ohio) in his battle for another six-year term in the Senate. And the race is drawing some worried looks on the Left, as seen in a recent Vox post quoting the University of Virginia’s Kyle Kondik, who, according to Vox, “wrote the book” on Ohio politics.
“The worry for Brown is that the state has taken a turn toward the Republicans and won’t turn back,” Kondik told Vox. “If Brown loses, it’s hard to see how Democrats can really contest the state in 2020 — in fact, they likely wouldn’t even try.”
West Virginia’s Sen. Joe Manchin met with Kavanaugh on July 30 and has asked for a second meeting.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and other Senate Republicans see the Democrats’ demand for Bush-era documents as nothing more than an attempt to delay the nomination process until after the midterm elections in November. Kavanaugh has his first confirmation hearing scheduled for September 4.
Kavanaugh would give the nation’s highest court a moderate conservative majority for the first time in decades. He has served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit since 2006.