'So Much At Stake With Just One Seat': Leahy, Sanders Express Concern Over Trump's SCOTUS Pick

Jul 10, 2018

Both of Vermont's two U.S. senators are expressing very strong concerns about President Donald Trump's nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.

On Monday night, Trump named federal appeals court Judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Sen. Patrick Leahy is the most senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and will participate in the committee’s upcoming hearings on this nomination.

Speaking at a Washington, D.C. press conference Tuesday morning, Leahy said he won’t vote for Kavanaugh unless the judge can prove in the upcoming hearings that he can be a strong independent voice on the court for decades to come.

"Whether you consider Roe vs. Wade, or affordable health care, marriage equality, voting rights, so much more — I've never seen so much at stake with just one seat." — Sen. Patrick Leahy

"Now I'm going to withhold my consent for this nominee or any other nominee who seeks to reverse 45 years of settled law protecting a woman's right to make her own health decisions, who intends to strip away insurance protection for millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions, who sides with the powerful over hardworking Americans,” said Leahy.  

Leahy said that he's also worried that Kavanaugh could provide a majority vote on the court to overturn key decisions affecting abortion, access to health care and same-sex marriage.

"I've been here for the last 17 nominations to the Supreme Court, including every sitting member of the Court,” said Leahy. "But whether you consider Roe vs. Wade, or affordable health care, marriage equality, voting rights, so much more — I've never seen so much at stake with just one seat."   

"Kavanaugh will be a rubber-stamp for an extreme, right-wing agenda." — Sen. Bernie Sanders

In a written statement, Sen. Bernie Sanders said he intends to work hard to defeat the Kavanaugh nomination because he believes "Kavanaugh will be a rubber-stamp for an extreme, right-wing agenda."

Sanders also said in his statement that Kavanaugh "believes a president can only be indicted after he leaves office and should not be subjected to civil suits while in office.”

Sanders concluded his statement noting it is time to "mobilize the American people to defeat Trump’s right-wing, reactionary nominee" because he does "not believe a person with those views should be given a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court."