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Washington, Idaho senators show deep divide on Supreme Court nomination

UPDATED: Mon., July 9, 2018

Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, stands in the East Room of the White House on Monday, July 9, 2018. (Alex Brandon / AP)
Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, stands in the East Room of the White House on Monday, July 9, 2018. (Alex Brandon / AP)

Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court will require approval from the U.S. Senate, and response from the region’s lawmakers indicates that fight will be fierce.

Republicans praised Kavanaugh’s deference to the Constitution, while Democrats warned the pick would reverse important judicial decisions involving health care and women’s reproductive rights.

Republican Sen. Mike Crapo of Idaho, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee which will review Kavanaugh’s nomination before it goes to the entire chamber, praised Trump’s pick in a statement shortly after the announcement.

“Judge Kavanaugh has a strong background of legal experience and knowledge and I congratulate him on this high honor,” Crapo said. “I take seriously my constitutional responsibility to thoroughly review this nomination.”

Crapo said he’d look for strict adherence to the Constitution in a potential Supreme Court justice, not “creating new law by judicial activism from the bench.” Crapo voted in favor of Justice Neil Gorsuch’s nomination last year on the Judiciary Committee and again in the majority vote on the Senate floor.

Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, attended the announcement of Kavanaugh’s nomination in the East Room of the White House and also praised Trump’s selection.

“Over the course of Judge Kavanaugh’s extensive career, he has shown a strong deference to the rule of law and has defended the separation of powers,” Risch said. “His nomination, as well as Justice Neil Gorsuch’s, reflect President Trump’s deep commitment to upholding our U.S. Constitution.”

Sen. Patty Murray, a Washington Democrat, said she would oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination in a video released after the announcement.

“President Trump must nominate someone who is clearly and strongly committed to not rolling back settled law when it comes to women’s health and patient protections, and to protecting the rights and freedoms that people across the country hold so dear,” Murray said, adding in a tweet, “Judge Kavanaugh fails on both counts.”

Murray urged Americans to “call your senator, show up at rallies, organize online and in person.”

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