WILKES-BARRE — U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta praised President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, while his opponent in the race for U.S. Senate stood by his opposition to the nominee.
“Judge Kavanaugh has a reputation as one of the most revered legal minds in America,” Barletta said Tuesday at a news conference in Harrisburg. “His record shows respect for the Constitution and the rule of law.”
Hours before Trump nominated Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court on Monday night, Casey made it clear he would oppose any selection. Casey, D-Scranton, said that in a nation with over 700 sitting federal judges, many of whom were appointed by Republican presidents, it is “outrageous that President Trump will nominate from a list of just 25 dictated to him” by the Heritage Foundation. Casey called that “a corrupt bargain.”
Barletta said Tuesday that Trump’s process for selecting Kavanaugh “has been the most transparent in history and the American people should expect the same thing from the Senate.”
Casey campaign spokesman Max Steele said Casey has been clear that he opposes the president’s nomination of Kavanaugh because it is the product of “a corrupt bargain between Washington Republicans and their corporate special interest backers who are hell-bent on ending protections for those with pre-existing conditions, crushing unions, and promoting policies that will leave the middle-class further behind.”
Steele added, “Congressman Barletta is simultaneously praising the White House for giving Americans a chance to evaluate potential nominees by releasing a list ahead of time and condemning Senator Casey for using that list to evaluate those potential nominees.”
Given Kavanaugh’s background, Pennsylvania GOP Chairman Val DiGiorgio and Barletta urged the Senate to quickly act on the confirmation, pointing out Casey said he would not support Kavanaugh’s confirmation even before he was announced as the nominee.
“During the lead-up to the announcement of Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination, Bob Casey displayed the kind of blatant, uncalled for obstruction he has become known for,” DiGiorgio said.
Barletta added: “Bob Casey is not interested in giving Judge Kavanaugh the fair process that Pennsylvanians expect.”
Currently, Kavanaugh serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Lehigh Valley, said based on his reputation and resume, Kavanaugh appears to have the intellect and experience necessary to sit on the nation’s highest court.
“Judicial nominees, including those for the Supreme Court, should understand that the proper role of a judge is to apply the law, including the U.S. Constitution, as written,” Toomey said. “I plan to apply this standard while reviewing Judge Kavanaugh’s record and I hope my colleagues will do the same so that Republicans and Democrats can work together to confirm highly qualified jurists.”
Meanwhile, Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez said Kavanaugh “should not be allowed anywhere near our nation’s highest bench.”
Perez added, “Let’s be clear: a vote for Kavanaugh would be a vote to rip health care from American families and deny women their constitutional right to make their own health care decisions.”
Perez said the reason Trump chose Kavanaugh was because the president wants to overturn Roe v. Wade and gut the Affordable Care Act.
Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.