CBS Asks Schumer: Would Dems Voting for Kavanaugh Be ‘Betrayal of the Party’?

The morning after President Trump named D.C. Circuit Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh as his second nominee to the Supreme Court, Tuesday’s CBS This Morning rushed to get reaction from Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. In the softball interview that followed, the liberal lawmaker was asked how he might “stop the nomination” and whether it would be a “betrayal of the party” for any Democrat to vote to confirm Kavanaugh.

Co-host Norah O’Donnell began the exchange by declaring: “We know that if Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed, this will shift the balance of power on the Supreme Court for decades to come.” Noting that “Republicans control the majority” in the Senate, she wondered: “Is there anything you can do to stop this nomination?”

 

 

Schumer sounded the alarm: “President Trump, with the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh, has fulfilled, or is fulfilling two of his campaign promises. First, to undo women’s reproductive freedom. Second, to undo ACA [ObamaCare].” He then vowed: “I will oppose him with everything I’ve got.”

The New York Senator was so busy bashing Kavanaugh, that O’Donnell could barely get in her next question, which was at least somewhat challenging:

I hear you, Senator, but let me just get in a question please....when you questioned Brett Kavanaugh previously for an appointment, you asked him specifically about Roe vs. Wade, and Brett Kavanaugh said that he believes it is “binding precedent of the court” and he would follow that. It has been reaffirmed many times. So, why do you believe that abortion rights in this country are under threat?

While it was good of O’Donnell push back on some of Schumer’s fearmongering, notice that it was only done in a way meant to reassure liberals. Also, her open-ended question at the end allowed Schumer to claim that Kavanaugh’s past comments had “been a trick” and attack the judge even more.

The most slanted question came from co-host John Dickerson. After pointing out that some Republicans voted for liberal justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elana Kagan, the anchor asked: “Based on the case you’ve just made about Brett Kavanaugh, would it be a betrayal of the party for any Democrat to support him in any way?”

Schumer assured him that the party would dissuade its members from breaking ranks.

Wrapping up the interview, fill-in co-host Bianna Golodryga expressed the liberal hope that Kavanaugh may shift left once on the high court, similar to retiring Justice Kennedy: “We saw Justice Kennedy surprise many with his decisions on both sides of the aisle. What’s to say that a Justice Kavanaugh won’t do the same?”

Schumer ranted: “Well, I don't think he would have been put on this list had he not been one of these hard-right judges.”

Golodryga concluded: “A lot of pressure on those five red-state Democrats.”

Only CBS gave Schumer a platform Tuesday morning to blast Kavanaugh.

Here is a transcript of the questions to the Democratic leader in the July 10 segment:

7:00 AM ET TEASE

JOHN DICKERSON: During a prime time TV appearance, President Trump picks conservative Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court. We’ll talk with Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer about how he plans to block the nomination.

7:13 AM ET SEGMENT

NORAH O’DONNELL: And on that point, we’re talking now with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who joins us from Capitol Hill for an interview you’ll see first on CBS This Morning. Senator Schumer, good morning.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER [D-NY]: Good morning.

O’DONNELL: We know that if Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed, this will shift the balance of power on the Supreme Court for decades to come. Republicans control the majority. Is there anything you can do to stop this nomination?

SCHUMER: Yes. Well, President Trump, with the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh, has fulfilled, or is fulfilling two of his campaign promises. First, to undo women’s reproductive freedom. Second, to undo ACA. And so, I will oppose him with everything I’ve got.

(...)

SCHUMER: This nominee will repeal Roe and women’s reproductive freedom.

O’DONNELL: But Senator, you’ve already –

SCHUMER: Will repeal ACA, far against what the American people want. And when the American people learn this –  

O’DONNELL: I hear you, Senator, but let me just get in a question please.

SCHUMER: Go ahead.

O’DONNELL: Senator, in 2006, you questioned –

SCHUMER: But when they learn this, they’re going to oppose the nominee.

O’DONNELL: Senator, when you questioned Brett Kavanaugh previously for an appointment, you asked him specifically about Roe vs. Wade, and Brett Kavanaugh said that he believes it is “binding precedent of the court” and he would follow that. It has been reaffirmed many times. So, why do you believe that abortion rights in this country are under threat?

SCHUMER: Binding – when you say you’ll follow binding precedent, that’s been a trick.    

(...)

JOHN DICKERSON: Senator, in – when Justice Sotomayor was up for confirmation, nine Republicans voted for her. Justice Kagan, there were five Republicans. Based on the case you’ve just made about Brett Kavanaugh, would it be a betrayal of the party for any Democrat to support him in any way?

(...)

BIANA GOLODRYGA: Senator, Brett Kavanaugh last night made a point to highlight that he’s hired diverse law clerks, that Elena Kagan hired him at Harvard University. We saw Justice Kennedy surprise many with his decisions on both sides of the aisle. What’s to say that a Justice Kavanaugh won’t do the same?         

SCHUMER: Well, I don't think he would have been put on this list had he not been one of these hard-right judges.
                
(...)

GOLODRYGA: A lot of pressure on those five red-state Democrats. Senator Schumer, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.

SCHUMER: Thank you very much. Good to be with you.


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