Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said Thursday he was tired of “dumbass” partisanship obstructing Trump nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.
He appeared to ignore the fact that Republicans had two years earlier blocked President Obama’s nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, in order to assure the next justice was conservative.
“I really want to compliment the Democrats who have stood up and are willing to stand up for Judge Kavanaugh because they realize we can’t keep going down this partisan, picky, stupid, dumbass road that has happened around here for so long,” Hatch said during a press conference Thursday.
"I'm tired of partisanship and frankly, we didn't treat their candidates for these positions the way they're treating ours," Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said of Democrats opposing Kavanaugh's confirmation due to "dumbass" partisanship pic.twitter.com/FRXVb0TWMo
— POLITICO (@politico) August 2, 2018
Kavanaugh, who was nominated by Trump last month, is likely to be the deciding vote on yet another challenge to Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court case that secured the right to abortion in the United States.
During his time on the D.C. circuit court, Kavanaugh displayed a hostility to abortion rights, dissenting from the majority opinion in Garza v. Hargan, in which the court ruled that the Trump administration could not hold undocumented teenagers in prison to keep them from getting abortions.
Hatch said Thursday that he was “sick and tired” of Democrats who don’t support Kavanaugh.
“I’m tired of the partisanship and, frankly, we didn’t treat them — their candidates for these positions the way they’re treating ours,” Hatch said. “And I would like to see us hopefully break through and change that attitude with regard to Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation.”
After the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in February 2016, Republicans obstructed Obama nominee Merrick Garland long enough for Trump to take office and make a nomination of his own.
Hatch was vocal about that nomination as well, though his stance on Garland’s proposed confirmation was markedly different.
Like many of my Senate colleagues, I recently met with Chief Judge Merrick Garland, President Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court. … Our meeting, however, does not change my conviction that the Senate should consider a Supreme Court nominee after this presidential election cycle.
The op-ed was later pulled from the site and re-published later in the day, following the meeting, with a note at the bottom claiming “a draft…was erroneously published on DeseretNews.com prior to final revisions and edits from Sen. Hatch.”
Hatch continued to be lobby against Garland in the run-up to the 2016 election, pressuring Republicans not to hold any confirmation hearings.
“Despite my personal affection for Merrick, I remain convinced that the right way for the Senate to do its job is to conduct a confirmation process after this contentious presidential election season is over,” Hatch said in a statement at the time. “Doing so is the proper course to ensure a constructive process for a nominee and to preserve the integrity of the Supreme Court.”
Republicans have criticized Democrats in recent days for requesting documents about Kavanaugh’s time as a circuit court judge and as staff secretary for President George W. Bush, claiming they are slowing the confirmation process. On Thursday, the Washington Post reported that Bush’s legal team had turned over 125,035 pages of documents. However, the National Archives has said it may not be able to produce the entire 900,000 pages in Democrats’ request until after October.