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Kavanaugh would be 'worst nightmare' for gun reform, California Democrats say

Every Democratic member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, led by top California Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein, promised to lead the fight against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh Tuesday morning on the steps of the Supreme Court.

Feinstein cited Kavanuagh's stance on three issues: abortion rights, gun regulation and health care. Multiple senators, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, painted him as one of the most conservative justices to serve on the court, if he were confirmed.

"He argued in 2011 against Washington, D.C.'s ban because weapons like AR-15s are in 'common use,'" Feinstein said.

A fundraising email by Feinstein's opponent in November, Kevin de León, called for senators to do "whatever it takes to stop this nominee."

California Sen. Kamala Harris, who was one of the first senators to release a statement opposing Kavanaugh after Trump's announcement Monday night, spoke only on her concerns about Kavanaugh overturning Roe v. Wade, saying his one vote would make the difference. That has been one of the main rallying cries of all Democrats in opposing Kavanaugh.

"This is about putting the government's authority ahead of the authority of a woman to make a decision about her own body and her future," Harris said. "So if you are a young woman in America, or you care about a young woman in America, pay attention to this, because it will forever change your life."

Other senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee echoed those sentiments on women's rights to abortions and gun regulation.

"If you care about common sense gun violence protection, Judge Kavanaugh is your worst nightmare. If you want background checks, a ban on assault weapons, or any of the other common sense measures that we have in Connecticut, or California or New York, Judge Kavanaugh will strike them down." said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, who used to clerk on the court. "That's in his record, it's indisputable."

"Give him a seat on this court, and you can say good-bye to the common sense measures in Connecticut, California and New York that have helped save lives," he added.

If all Senate Democrats oppose Kavanaugh's nomination — which is not guaranteed, especially since some Democrats are facing tough re-election prospects in states Trump won — then those hoping to confirm Kavanaugh cannot afford to lose a single Republican vote. Though Republicans have a 51-49 majority, Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, has been in treatment for brain cancer and has not been at the Capitol since December.

Kate Irby: 202-383-6071; @KateIrby
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