‘I would have voted no’
WASHINGTON – Hours after saying she would have voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, Kentucky Senate candidate Amy McGrath changed her stance.
McGrath, a Democrat hoping to unseat Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2020, wrote on Twitter that after “further understanding” of Kavanaugh’s record, she would not have voted to confirm him.
“I was asked earlier today about Judge Brett Kavanaugh and I answered based upon his qualifications to be on the Supreme Court,” she tweeted Wednesday evening. “But upon further reflection and further understanding of his record, I would have voted no.”
During an interview with the Louisville Courier Journal on Wednesday, McGrath said she would have voted to confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. During his confirmation process, many Democrats in Congress and many progressive activists took issue with Kavanaugh’s judicial record, judicial philosophy and views on the precedents of the high court — in particular, whether he would hold respect Roe v. Wade as binding precedent in subsequent Supreme Court cases dealing with abortion.
In addition, Kavanaugh was accused of sexual misconduct that allegedly occurred decades earlier when he was in high school. He denied the allegation. Christine Blasey Ford, who accused him of sexually assaulting her at a house party when they were both high school students, testified during Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings.
Kavanaugh was ultimately confirmed by the Senate on a 50–48 vote.
During her interview earlier Wednesday with the Courier Journal McGrath said “there was nothing in his record that I think would disqualify him in any way.”
“I was very concerned about Judge Kavanaugh, what I felt like were the far-right stances that he had,” she also said. She added: “The fact is when you have the president and the Senate, this is our system and so I don’t think there was anything that would have disqualified him in my mind.”
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McGrath said although she believed Ford’s testimony was credible, she said too much time had passed to disqualify Kavanaugh from a Supreme Court appointment because of Blasey Ford’s allegation.
When asked whether she would have voted for Kavanaugh, McGrath said yes.
“You know, I think that with Judge Kavanaugh, yeah, I probably would have voted for him,” she said.
In a second tweet posted Wednesday evening, McGrath was contrite but kept the focus on her ultimate goal.
“I know I disappointed many today with my initial answer on how I would have voted on Brett Kavanaugh,” she wrote. “I will make mistakes and always own up to them. The priority is defeating Mitch McConnell.”
McGrath, a former Marine fighter pilot, announced her candidacy for U.S. Senate this week. She raked in $2.5 million in the first day since announcing her bid to unseat McConnell.
Contributing: Phillip M. Bailey, Louisville Courier Journal
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