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Blumenthal Focuses on Kavanaugh’s Refusal to Condemn Trump’s RBG Attack

September 10, 2018 By Staff
Blumenthal Focuses on Kavanaugh’s Refusal to Condemn Trump’s RBG Attack

The senior senator is looking to capitalize on Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's popularity in his campaign to tank Judge Kavanaugh's nomination.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) has been all-out in his effort to tank the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. In addition to focusing on the issues of abortion and the Affordable Care Act, Blumenthal dedicated several minutes of the hearing – and several tweets last week – to Kavanaugh’s refusal to condemn President Trump’s attacks on Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Kavanaugh “won’t defend the legendary & respected Justice Ginsburg against Trump’s blatant attacks,” Blumenthal tweeted Thursday.

On Sunday afternoon, Blumenthal accused Kavanaugh of having “[n]o backbone.”

The reality is a less stark than Blumenthal makes it out to be. Kavanaugh’s response – that he would not come within “three zip codes” of a political controversy, in this case Trump’s attacks on Ginsburg – was a frequent refrain during his confirmation hearing.

Refusing to jump into a political controversy is different than “giv[ing] a green light to Trump’s gutter assault.” Then again, Blumenthal has been a ‘no’ vote on Kavanaugh since the day of his nomination.

Some Kavanaugh opponents pointed out one possible motivation for his refusal to explicitly condemn Trump – and it has to do with Blumenthal himself.

Last year, Blumenthal met privately with then-Judge Neil Gorsuch, and promptly told the press that Gorsuch called Trump’s attacks on the judiciary “demoralizing.” Gorsuch repeated the line during his confirmation hearing the next month, but refused to explicitly name Trump when Blumenthal pressed him to criticize Trump. According to The Washington Post, Trump considered pulling Gorsuch’s nomination over Gorsuch’s comments.

Therefore, some Kavanaugh opponents suggest, maybe Kavanaugh avoided criticizing Trump to avoid having his nomination pulled.

Kavanaugh may have wanted to avoid such a situation, where his nomination could be pulled by the president. On the other hand, he may have just wanted to avoid being drawn into the partisan politics of Trump, ahead of a lifetime appointment to the independent judiciary.