Commentary: Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) cast his vote against the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to serve as an associate justice of the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh was confirmed by a final vote of 50 to 48.
This week, Udall took to the Senate floor to outline his opposition to Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination. He also submitted an additional statement to the Congressional Record about why he believes Kavanaugh should not be elevated to the Supreme Court. Udall’s floor speech can be viewed HERE and his statement for the record can be read HERE.
Today, Udall issued the following statement:
“Prior to his nomination, Judge Kavanaugh had built a long record demonstrating that he is a judge with a philosophy that sides with the powerful and big corporations at the expense of families and workers across New Mexico. As a judge and as a political operative before that, Judge Kavanaugh has shown extreme, outside-the-mainstream views that threaten women’s rights, the rights of native peoples, the rights of minority communities, the environment, and our health care. He was nominated by a president under investigation, and I have grave concerns about where Judge Kavanaugh will land should he have to rule on the constitutionality of the Mueller investigation, on the president’s pardoning power, or on the president’s immunity from prosecution. His record gives me no confidence he will uphold the rule of law, the integrity of our democratic process, or the fundamental values of our nation.
“But what we learned about Judge Kavanaugh during his confirmation process was perhaps an even greater reason to oppose this nomination. Last week, New Mexicans and people all across this country watched as Dr. Christine Blasey Ford bravely stood before the Senate and shared her harrowing story. She told the Senate Judiciary Committee, and millions of people all around the country and the world, that Brett Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her. I watched every minute of her testimony. I believe Dr. Ford.
“And then came Judge Kavanaugh’s testimony. Judge Kavanaugh – seeking a seat on the highest court in the land – showed himself to be deeply partisan and severely lacking in the temperament, integrity, and impartiality needed to serve as a justice on the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, his allies in Congress and in the White House cynically pledged to ‘plow right through’ his nomination – as Leader McConnell said -- insulting Dr. Ford and survivors everywhere with a process that was never intended to find the truth about Judge Kavanaugh, but rather only to find enough cover to put him on the court.
“Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination has bitterly divided this nation. To those in New Mexico and around the country who support his confirmation, I know that we can disagree about this matter without doubting our shared love of this country. I voted against the nomination because I believe Judge Kavanaugh did not prove himself worthy of elevation to the Supreme Court. I hope that, for the sake of our country, Judge Kavanaugh proves me wrong.
“And to those who are deeply angered and saddened by Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation, I hope you will continue to fight for the values you believe in and the values that make this nation great. I will keep fighting – because as frustrated as I am by the process that led us to this point, I am deeply inspired by and grateful for the courage I have witnessed firsthand over these trying weeks. I have been moved and humbled to have heard from many New Mexicans who have bravely shared with me their own stories of sexual assault – and who stand with Dr. Ford in their resolution to be heard. Their bravery should serve as an inspiration to all of us. Let us all recommit to keep fighting to stand up for the values we share, and to build the kind of society that we want to leave to our children.”