A number of newspaper editorial boards based in states with Democratic senators are heaping praise on President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee for his "first-rate legal mind" and experience. The praise has come despite Judge Brett Kavanaugh receiving uniformly conservative ideological ratings and in the face of widespread opposition from Democratic lawmakers.
The Detroit News, the largest paper in Michigan with an editorial board, wrote that "Kavanaugh’s record defies challenge."
That board concluded that Kavanaugh's record on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit shows he will maintain a commitment to interpreting the law as it is written, and not how he may wish it were crafted.
Michigan has two Democratic senators, Sens. Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow. While Stabenow is up for re-election this year in a state Trump won in 2016, Stabenow is expected to vote against Kavanaugh's confirmation.
The largest paper in Virginia, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, published a view from its editorial board that "If one were to create an ideal résumé for the position of Supreme Court justice, it would not look terribly different from Brett Michael Kavanaugh’s curriculum vitae."
It wrote that "Indeed, Kavanaugh’s qualifications are impeccable — unfortunately, that won’t stop him from being lambasted by opposition on the left concerned about his conservative values."
Both of Virginia's senators, Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, are also Democrats.
All senators from both states are Democrats.
The editorial board at New Hampshire's largest paper, the New Hampshire Union Leader, wrote that Kavanaugh's experience would have ensured easy confirmation 31 years ago but will not this time because of partisan Democrats.
Sens. Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen, both Democrats, represent the Granite State.
"Let's hope Manchin breaks with those in his party who see the decision as a political one," the Intelligencer‘s editorial said of Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.).
The editorial board at the Washington Post praised Kavanaugh but cautioned senators in what his confirmation could mean for the Court.
The Post published the view that "Judge Kavanaugh, 53, is widely seen as one of the top legal minds of his generation – so much so that now-Justice Elena Kagan recruited him to teach at Harvard Law," and praised him for his commitment to interpreting the Constitution as written.
Despite the praise, it nevertheless said the Senate should "take care" in evaluating Kavanaugh. The op-ed's title explained his appointment could "drastically shift the court to the right."
The largest paper of them all, however, was especially unenthused with Trump's pick.
The New York Times editorial board warned that "There's so much you don't know about Brett Kavanaugh. And you probably won't until it's too late."
"Senate Democrats need to use the confirmation process to explain to Americans how their Constitution is about to be hijacked by a small group of conservative radicals," the Times board said.