On his first day as a newly-minted nominee to the Supreme Court, more than a half-dozen swing senators made clear that Brett Kavanaugh will have to say the right things on their policy priorities if he wants to get confirmed.
Even as he was broadly welcomed by Senate Republicans, and a handful of Democrats expressed openness to his confirmation, the hurdles for the conservative D.C. Circuit Court judge are taking shape.
“Nobody should assume anything right now,” said Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who backed Justice Neil Gorsuch and is being wooed by Republicans.
To get moderates in both parties, Kavanaugh must give some assurances on protecting the right to an abortion under Roe v. Wade as well as health insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. He’ll have to work to gain the vote of a skeptical Rand Paul (R-Ky.) over the government’s surveillance powers. And the specter of Robert Mueller’s Russia probe will hang over the confirmation into the fall.