While several Democratic lawmakers push for obstructing the confirmation of President Donald Trump’s second U.S. Supreme Court justice pick, judge Brett Kavanaugh has earned praise from a number of individuals who know and have worked closely with him over the years.
One such recommendation came in the form of a letter to members of the U.S. Senate judiciary committee this week.
Bob Bennett, who represented then-President Bill Clinton during a high-profile sexual harassment case, said Kavanaugh was a promising young competitor working on the other side of the courtroom.
“I first crossed paths with Brett in the mid 1990s, when we found ourselves lined up on opposite sides of the decade’s biggest legal battle,” he said.
Bennett wrote that he was “serving as President Clinton’s personal lawyer in the Paula Jones case” while Kavanaugh “had just joined the Office of Independent Counsel under Ken Starr, then investigating the president.”
Though they were vociferous foes when presenting their cases, Bennett said he took away a respect for the manner in which Kavanaugh conducted himself.
“Brett’s integrity quickly won me over, and we became close friends despite our differences (and the differences between the Presidents we served),” Bennett said.
Bennett praised Trump’s pick as “the most qualified person any Republican president could possibly have nominated.”
— Fox News (@FoxNews) August 28, 2018
Meanwhile, many in the Democratic Party’s progressive wing have begun to rally opposition to Kavanaugh’s confirmation on Capitol Hill, as reported by HuffPost.
Several groups are backing the growing effort to press Democrats for a firm statement of their intention to vote against him. Brian Fallon, a former Hillary Clinton spokesperson, issued a statement of support through his organization Demand Justice.
“The fight against Brett Kavanaugh is winnable but only if Senate Democrats quickly unite in opposition so we can focus on pressuring a Republican to break ranks,” he said. “At this point, it is absurd that there are still more than two dozen Democrats on the fence about Kavanaugh. He is the most unpopular Supreme Court nominee in 35 years and it is time to fight his nomination with the urgency it deserves.”
Some supporters of the effort say Democratic senators should ignore tradition dictating that they refrain from sharing an opinion on a Supreme Court nominee until a confirmation hearing has been conducted.
Advocacy group Indivisible cited President Barack Obama’s pick, who was not given a hearing by a GOP-controlled Congress, in a statement from associate policy director Elizabeth Beavers.
“We should ask Merrick Garland about standard Supreme Court procedure,” she said. “That’s not what we’re operating on.”
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