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Toomey, Casey react to Kavanaugh nomination |

Toomey, Casey react to Kavanaugh nomination

Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee stands in the East Room of the White House, Monday, July 9, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Pennsylvania’s U.S. senators split along predictable lines in their reactions to President Donald Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court on Monday, with Lehigh Valley Republican Pat Toomey supporting Kavanaugh and Scranton Democrat Bob Casey opposing the selection.

Trump nominated Kavanaugh, 53, a Washington, D.C., Circuit Court of Appeals judge appointed by George W. Bush, over Pittsburgh judge Thomas Hardiman.

“I was pleased to see President Trump nominate Judge Brett Kavanaugh to a seat on the Supreme Court of the United States,” Toomey said in a statement. “Based on his reputation and resume, Judge Kavanaugh appears to have the intellect and experience necessary to serve on our nation’s highest court.”

Toomey stopped short of committing to a confirmation vote for Kavanaugh.

“Judicial nominees, including those for the Supreme Court, should understand that the proper role of a judge is to apply the law, including the U.S. Constitution, as written,” Toomey said in a statement. “I plan to apply this standard while reviewing Judge Kavanaugh’s record and I hope my colleagues will do the same so Republicans and Democrats can work together to confirm highly qualified jurists.”

Casey said Monday he would oppose whoever Trump picked for the seat that will open when Justice Anthony Kennedy, considered the court’s swing vote, retires at the end of the month.

Casey objected to the process by which Trump is picking his nominees, drawing from a list of 25 candidates that conservative organizations such as the Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society helped develop.

“This is really about the process and whether or not the corporate right is going to be in charge of picking the Supreme Court in a seat, in a nomination that’s likely to tip the scales substantially,” Casey told reporters.

U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Hazleton, who is running against Casey for the U.S. Senate this fall, said in a statement that he supports Kavanaugh, calling him “one of the nation’s most respected conservative legal minds” with a “strong record of respecting the rule of law.”

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