WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senator Rand Paul on Monday announced that he will endorse Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.
Paul, (R-Ky.), had previously expressed concern over the president’s selection of Kavanaugh based on the United States Circuit Judge’s comments that national security outweighs the American citizen’s Fourth Amendment right to privacy.
“Kavanaugh’s position is basically that national security trumps privacy,” Paul had previously observed. “He said it very strongly and explicitly. And that worries me.”
However, a closed-door meeting with Kavanagh on Monday seemed to change the pro-Constitution Paul’s stance.
“After meeting Judge Kavanaugh and reviewing his record, I have decided to support his nomination, Paul said in a statement posted to Twitter. “No one will ever completely agree with a nominee (unless of course, you are the nominee). Each nominee however, must be judged on the totality of their views character and opinions.”
“I have expressed my concern over Judge Kavanaugh’s record on warrantless bulk collection of data and how that might apply to very important privacy cases before the Supreme Court,” Paul’s statement continued. “In reviewing his record on other privacy cases like Jones, and through my conversation with him, I have hope that in light of the new precedent in Carpenter v. United States, Judge Kavanaugh will be more open to a Fourth Amendment that protects digital records and property.”
“Of course, my vote is not a single-issue vote, and much of my reading and conversation has been in trying to figure out exactly how good Judge Kavanaugh will be on other issues before the Court,” the statement went on. “My conversation with Judge Kavanaugh reinforces my belief that he will evaluate cases before the Supreme Court from a textual and originalist point of view. I believe he will carefully adhere to the Constitution and will take his job to protect individual liberty seriously.”
Paul then went on to say that it was Kavanagh’s strong pro-Second Amendment stance that, in part, changed his mind.
“On issues such as property rights and reining in the administrative state, Judge Kavanaugh has a strong record and showed a deep commitment during our meeting.
His views on due process and mens rea show a thoughtful approach to the law and its applications. His views on war powers and separation of powers are encouraging.
Finally, his strong defenses of the First and Second Amendments in landmark cases show someone who isn’t afraid to challenge the status quo and will fight with backbone. Judge Kavanaugh will have my support and my vote to confirm him to the Supreme Court.”
Paul’s “yes” vote now greatly increases the chances of Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), although still officially undecided, have signaled that they will each give their okay. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), also expected to meet with Kavanaugh on Monday, is too expected to back the judge’s nomination.