Vote Explanation

Floor Speech

Date: Oct. 5, 2018
Location: Washington, DC
Issues: Judicial Branch


Mr. DAINES. Mr. President I would like to discuss my strong support for the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to be Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. In July I had the opportunity to meet with Judge Kavanaugh in my office, and it was clear to me that President Trump had nominated an outstanding jurist who was well- qualified and ready to be our next Supreme Court Justice.

From the very beginning, just minutes after his nomination, some of my Democratic colleagues had already decided to oppose Judge Kavanaugh at all costs. They refused to meet with him, spread a misinformation campaign about his record, and claimed he was outside of the mainstream. The indisputable fact is that Judge Kavanaugh is the mainstream. His reasoning has been adopted by the Supreme Court more than a dozen times, and he is well respected by people across the spectrum, from fellow judges to those who have argued before him.

Judge Kavanaugh sat through more than 30 hours of testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee and subsequently responded to 1,287 questions for the record, more than every previous Supreme Court nominee combined. It was not until the 11th hour, when Judge Kavanaugh was on the verge of being confirmed, that unsubstantiated and uncorroborated claims from 36 years ago were leaked to the media in a last ditch effort to derail his nomination. The F.B.I. conducted yet another background investigation, its seventh, and yet again, nothing was discovered that would disqualify Judge Kavanaugh from sitting on the Supreme Court.

Montanans overwhelmingly want a Supreme Court Justice with impeccable academic credentials, someone who does not legislate from the bench, but upholds the rule of law and who follows the Constitution. Judge Kavanaugh is without a doubt that person.

Yesterday, I was happy to cast my vote in favor of bringing debate to an end on this nomination. While I was unavailable this afternoon for the vote due to a longstanding family commitment, I spoke with Judge Kavanaugh and assured him that, if my vote was needed for final passage, that I would return as soon as possible. I would like to thank my good friend and colleague, Senator Murkowski, for pairing votes so that my absence would not change the outcome.

However, I would be remiss not to mention that we would not be in this position had my friends across the aisle not turned this entire process into a political circus. They have done this for no other purpose than to obstruct and delay this nomination through the election in hopes that they take back control of this body and block all of President Trump's nominees. I fully support Judge Kavanaugh's confirmation look forward to his many years of service on the Supreme Court.