The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Isak­son, Per­due ap­pear sup­port­ive of Trump’s pick

- By Ta­mar Haller­man ta­mar.haller­man@ajc.com

WASH­ING­TON — Ge­or­gia’s two U.S. sen­a­tors placed them­selves firmly in the White House’s cor­ner as Repub­li­cans brace for a vit­ri­olic and ex­pen­sive fight over Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s lat­est Supreme Court nom­i­nee.

Sens. Johnny Isak­son and David Per­due sat feet from Trump on Mon­day evening as he an­nounced his in­tent to nom­i­nate Brett Ka­vanaugh to re­place An­thony Kennedy on the high court. Within min­utes of the East Room roll­out, their of­fices blasted out news re­leases tout­ing the record of the for­mer George W. Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cial and D.C. Court of Ap­peals judge.

“I con­grat­u­late Judge Ka­vanaugh, who is a tal­ented and ex­pe­ri­enced ju­rist, on his nom­i­na­tion to our na­tion’s high­est court,” Isak­son said.

“This is about an individual with an out­stand­ing, ob­jec­tive and in­de­pen­dent record of de­fend­ing and up­hold­ing the Con­sti­tu­tion of the United States,” Per­due said in a video posted to his so­cial me­dia ac­counts on Tues­day. “I could not be more ex­cited about a nom­i­nee than I am about Brett Ka­vanaugh.”

The two Repub­li­cans are not viewed as po­ten­tial swing votes on Trump’s ju­di­cial nom­i­nees, but their sup­port is still needed by Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Mitch McCon­nell as he looks to con­firm Ka­vanaugh be­fore the court’s new term be­gins in Oc­to­ber. The GOP holds a frag­ile 51-49 ma­jor­ity in the Se­nate, and with Sen. John McCain absent as he bat­tles brain can­cer, any dis­sent could be lethal.

Even though Isak­son and Per­due ap­pear in­clined to sup­port Ka­vanaugh, they

are fac­ing pres­sure from left-lean­ing groups to op­pose his nom­i­na­tion. Lo­cal re­sis­tance to Trump’s high court pick be­gan to build even be­fore Ka­vanaugh’s name was an­nounced.

The Ge­or­gia arm of the abor­tion rights group NARAL Pro-Choice Amer­ica on Mon­day urged the pair to re­ject Ka­vanaugh and “stand up and pro­tect women and fam­i­lies in the state of Ge­or­gia and across the coun­try.”

Mean­while, a coali­tion of left-lean­ing groups pick­eted Per­due’s At­lanta of­fice on Tues­day to pres­sure him and Isak­son “to op­pose any nom­i­nee who would crim­i­nal­ize abor­tion, roll back health care, dec­i­mate civil rights or at­tack work­ers, the en­vi­ron­ment and the rule of law.”

“Time and again, we have seen Isak­son and Per­due rub­ber-stamp Trump’s poli­cies,” said Caro­line Stover, one of the event’s or­ga­niz­ers. “As Ge­or­gians and as Amer­i­cans, we will con­tinue to raise our voices and de­mand that our elected of­fi­cials lis­ten to all of their con­stituents and not

just the de­mands of con­ser­va­tive lob­by­ing groups.”

Per­due and Isak­son weren’t the only Ge­or­gia of­fi­cials to sound pos­i­tive notes about Ka­vanaugh.

The ma­jor­ity of the state’s Repub­li­cans serv­ing in the U.S. House quickly voiced their sup­port, as did GOP gu­ber­na­to­rial can­di­dates Casey Ca­gle and Brian Kemp. The lat­ter called Ka­vanaugh a “bright, well-qual­i­fied ju­rist who will serve our coun­try well.”

Mean­while, the Demo­crat whom Ca­gle and Kemp are bat­tling to take on in the fall used Ka­vanaugh’s nom­i­na­tion as a fundrais­ing op­por­tu­nity.

“With his nom­i­na­tion, vot­ing rights, LGBTQ+ equal­ity, work­ers’ rights, and ac­cess to health care — could be on the chop­ping block,” Stacey Abrams said in an email to sup­port­ers on Tues­day af­ter­noon. “Make a do­na­tion to my cam­paign to­day so I can de­fend our hard­fought vic­to­ries and pro­gres­sive val­ues from the Gov­er­nor’s man­sion.”

 ?? DAVID BARNES / DAVID.BARNES@AJC.COM ?? Even though Ge­or­gia’s U.S. Sens. Johnny Isak­son (left) and David Per­due (right) ap­pear in­clined to sup­port Supreme Court pick Brett Ka­vanaugh, they are fac­ing pres­sure from left-lean­ing groups to op­pose his nom­i­na­tion.
DAVID BARNES / DAVID.BARNES@AJC.COM Even though Ge­or­gia’s U.S. Sens. Johnny Isak­son (left) and David Per­due (right) ap­pear in­clined to sup­port Supreme Court pick Brett Ka­vanaugh, they are fac­ing pres­sure from left-lean­ing groups to op­pose his nom­i­na­tion.
 ?? THE NEW YORK TIMES ??
THE NEW YORK TIMES

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