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Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry is confronted by a supporter of abortion rights in front of the Supreme Court on Monday as President Trump announced he would nominate Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Abortion will be a key issue in the confirmation process.
President Trump's nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy was met with swift partisan response from many in Congress, emphasizing the power of a narrow group of uncommitted senators.
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A large number of Senate Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., immediately announced that they plan to vote against Kavanaugh.
"I will oppose Judge Kavanaugh's nomination with everything I have, and I hope a bipartisan majority will do the same," Schumer said in a statement. "The stakes are simply too high for anything less."
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Republicans called the choice a triumph and rallied behind Kavanaugh. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called him a "superb choice" who is well-qualified for the job.
"Judge Kavanaugh has sterling academic credentials. He is widely admired for his intellect, experience and exemplary judicial temperament," he said. "This is an opportunity for senators to put partisanship aside and consider his legal qualifications with the fairness, respect and seriousness that a Supreme Court nomination ought to command."
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But Schumer and other Democrats based their opposition in large part on fears that Kavanaugh would band together with the court's four conservative justices to restrict abortion rights and further undermine the Affordable Care Act. Those issues will be central to a heated fight among Democrats to persuade moderate Republicans and moderates in their own party to oppose Kavanaugh.
The pressure will be most intense on Sens. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., all of whom are running for re-election in states Trump won in 2016.
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