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President Trump Chooses Judge Brett Kavanaugh

Alice Stewart, CNN Commentator

The Annie Frey Show
July 10, 2018 - 1:33 pm

AF: Brett Kavanaugh honored to be nominated by the president to fill Anthony Kennedy's seat after he's retired. Joining us now is Alice Stewart CNN political commentator, and also as I'm looking at your Twitter profile, also a former communications director for Ted Cruz for president Alice, Thanks for coming on today. We appreciate having you on.

AS: Annie, it's a supreme day.

AF: It is a supreme day. So, what did you think about this decision? Was it a safe decision? Was it something, was it what you expected when it got down to those four individuals on President Trump's list?

AS: I think it was a safe and a solid and a very smart decision by President Trump for many reasons. Look, the list he submitted when we had vacancy by Justice Scalia was a solid list and these were people that I think not, not only Republicans across the country, but, but all Americans should support because they have all demonstrated first and foremost their Fidelity to the Constitution and I think that's critical and the President made it quite clear that he wanted a Scalia like justice on the Supreme Court. He did so with his first nominee in Neil Gorsuch And I believe Brett Kavanaugh's is just the same. He has, he has shown in case after case that he is presided over that Judges should base their decisions on the laws and the Constitution as written and not let his own policy preferences and and feelings get in the way and he has a long history of cases that reflect that. And we saw last night, Annie, he was someone that was a good family man and you saw the way he talked about his family and his volunteerism in the community and his record as a judge and one thing that's also impressive was his commitment to making sure that legal assistants in his office for reflective of the community, employing many women and making sure that he applied the law across the board and this is something that I view as a positive not just his legal record, but we saw his personal character last night and that will go a long way as he and Vice President Pence are up on the Hill today and and making his case to members in the Senate who will decide his fate.

AF: So when we had the list of 25 initially lots of the folks in the Senate on the Democratic side essentially said that there wasn't even a single candidate on that list that was acceptable to them. So, the question comes down to those, those three Democrats that crossed party lines to approve Gorsuch. And then those, those Republican Senators like a Collins and Murkowski that were the bubble a little bit depending on maybe what which nominee we got from the President. What do you think this Senate is going to do? How do you think the Republicans will be able to rally behind a Kavanaugh

AS: That is a great question because we we do have a very tight margin with regard to at least Republicans are in the Senate and there is the wildcard of what Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski will do and a lot of it will be based on the questions and how they are answered throughout the nomination process. Their number one issue by all accounts on what they've indicated is with regard to the life issue and how they view Brett Kavanagh will decide on that or what his feelings are on that and how we interprets the law with regard to Roe v Wade and that's going to be critica. But just as important are the Red State Democrats. Claire Mccaskill there in Missouri is one of the people with her back is against the wall, and I think it's important for your listeners to hold her feet to the fire and see how she votes on this. Look, her vote is going to be critical in this. Missouri is in the, in the, the spotlight with regard to certainly how this vote plays out. And look, Missourians voted for Donald Trump resoundingly in the last Presidential election and I think it is critical and I'm glad to see that of the public and can it Josh Hawley is calling her out on this and letting folks know that the eyes of the nation are on, Missouri and while Mccaskill wants to see another liberal in charge in the Senate. she also wants liberal-minded Supreme Court Justice, and that's not the way it should be. It should be a Justice that has Fidelity to the Constitution more than anything else as opposed to someone that will execute her liberal policies and the liberal views of her Democrat colleagues there in the Senate and I think it is critical that Missourians understand that this is an important issue to press Claire McCaskill on this, urge her to support and vote for Brett Kavanagh. And if and when she doesn't then all the more reason for them to it to get behind Josh Hawley when I go to the polls in November.

AF: Well, we have a good point to to bring up right now. I think tomorrow is the last day to vote for or to register to vote in the primary. August 7th is the primary. We have quite a few candidates running right now for that primary, so, Josh Hawley is certainly one of them and we've had Austin Petersen, Tony Monetti, Peter Pfeiffer on, on the show as well. Also Courtland Sykes, so that that register opportunity register to vote I think ends tomorrow. So make sure that that folks do that. I'm looking at a poll  right now via theTerrance group and SBA and it says, it lists the states, Florida, Indiana, Missouri, North Dakota and West Virginia Senator confirm Trump's appointment. And in Missouri 57% of Missouri says yes confirm Trump's appointment. What do we think Claire McCaskill's going to do here? Can she afford to not approve president Trump's appointment?

AS: I don't see how she can afford not to and there's a New York Times article over the weekend where she indicated that it's highly unlikely that she would back any Trump nominee despite the political risk, and if if she's willing to take that political risk, then she needs to go ahead and order U-Haul at the move out of Washington because I think we're seeing more than ever that people are understanding the significance in the critical importance of the Supreme Court and you have Missourians overwhelmingly as you indicated realizing the value of the Supreme Court and wanting a Scalia like Justice, if, if Claire McCaskill is is going to die on the Hill on on this issued then that's, that's her mistake. But it but it's clear that if she wants to go ahead and say that she's going to oppose Trump nominee to the Supreme Court, just because it is a Trump nominee then, then that's in my view, she is she is acknowledging that she's ready to leave the Senate because this is an important issue not just for people of Missouri, but for this country and I hope, I hope that people that are listening understand that this is not just an issue such as Obamacare or a tax bill that can be repealed in a few years Supreme Court nominations and Supreme Court Justices, these are decades of decisions and people that support Fidelity to the Constitution. So just has a long-term impact and if she's willing to her flag on the Democratic ground on this issue in a state that support Donald Trump then she's doing so at her own peril.

AF: Alice Stewart CNN political commentator, you can follow her on Twitter @alicetweet also at cnn.com. Thanks so much for letting us your expertise on this issue. We appreciate it.