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Michigan Leaders React To President's Supreme Court Pick

Brett Kavanaugh
Screen shot from PBS NewsHour
President Donald J. Trump (left) looks ahead as Judge Brett Kavanaugh (right) makes a speech after being nominated to the US Supreme Court by Trump.

In Michigan, reaction to President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh was split along party lines. 

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D) Michigan issued the following statement on Tuesday:

"This Supreme Court vacancy represents a very consequential moment for our country. I have serious concerns about Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s record. Based on his past decisions, I am deeply concerned that he would roll back women’s access to reproductive health care, make it harder for Michigan families to get affordable health coverage, particularly if they have a preexisting condition, and weaken enforcement of our environmental laws, like our clean water laws that protect our Great Lakes. I intend to review his complete record and will evaluate his nomination thoroughly."

Republicans have reacted positively to Trump's pick, but Senate leader Mitch McConnell has little margin of error for the final vote unless a few Democrats can be brought onboard. Republicans hold a slim 51-49 Senate majority, but they hope to gain support for Kavanaugh from a handful of Democrats who are up for re-election in states where Trump is popular.

Here is the Tuesday's statement from U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D) Michigan: 

“The Supreme Court’s actions have real and lasting impacts on peoples’ lives – from a woman’s freedom to make her own health decisions and protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions to voting rights and the ability for workers to negotiate better wages and working conditions. I will be considering Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination, but from what I know thus far, I already have serious concerns about his record of placing corporate interests over consumers, workers and the health of our environment.”

Republican Rep. Mike Bishop of Michigan's 8th Congressional District sent the following tweet after Monday night's announcement:

"Congratulations to a well-qualified nominee for #SCOTUS, Brett Kavanaugh. #ScotusPick"

Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee of Michigan's 5th Congressional District disapproved of Trump's choice, issuing this statement: 

“In recent years, conservative Supreme Court justices have stripped away the rights of workers to collectively bargain and allowed for unlimited money in our political process. If Judge Kavanaugh is confirmed, the Supreme Court will move even further to the right and likely turn the clock back on other fundamental rights, including health care coverage for those with pre-existing conditions and women’s reproductive rights. Unfortunately, Judge Kavanaugh has shown hostility toward our current health care system and a woman’s right to choose. “It is wrong that President Trump has effectively outsourced the nomination of judges to extreme political groups that do not have the best interests of Americans in mind. We should not have a litmus test for selecting justices, which will lead to even more extreme voices on the nation’s highest court. The American people deserve judges and Supreme Court justices that act independently and respect the rule of law.”

Attorney General Bill Schuette, a Republican who is running for Michigan governor and endorsed by President Trump, tweeted the following moments after the televised announcement on Monday night:

"Great decision by President Trump selecting Brett Kavanaugh. Rule of law; experienced Judge; smart; respects the Constitution as written. Good thing most of us didn’t abandon Donald Trump and good thing we beat Hillary or we would never have a Justice Gorsuch or Justice Kavanaugh."

The "Hillary" whom Schuette referred to was 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer also took to Twitter to respond to Trump's pick:

"We know #WhatsAtStake with Trump’s #SCOTUS pick: Roe v Wade, health care, marriage equality & labor rights. I want you to know this: as #migov, I will fight like hell to pass state laws that protect choice, access to health care, LGBTQ rights & collective bargaining."

Ron Bieber, president of Michigan's AFL-CIO also expressed concern about Kavanaugh with this statement: 

“Judge Kavanaugh has a record of siding with the interests of corporations and employers and siding against the interests of working people and their families. The opinions that have been written by Judge Kavanaugh would undermine the freedoms of working men and women, make the work place less safe and make it harder to earn a fair wage to sustain a family. His nomination comes at a time when wealthy corporate interests continue to attack the freedoms of working people to further rig the rules in favor of the rich and powerful. Now more than ever, it’s important for working people to exercise their freedom to stand together to protect what our families need to build a better Michigan and a better America. “Working families need a better deal and we need a government that works for everyone in all three branches. We are determined to make our voices heard and to elect leaders who have our back. The Senate should reject this nomination and demand a justice who has a record of supporting the rights of working people.”



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