Republican governors from 30 states and two territories have signed a letter urging Senate leaders to move “expeditiously to confirm” conservative judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, the Associated Press reports.
But that leaves three GOP governors who didn’t sign: Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, Larry Hogan of Maryland, and Phil Scott of Vermont.
Baker, Hogan, and Scott all hail from blue-leaning states and have a history of disagreeing with President Trump. They’ve been grouped together in the past, praised as “anomalies” who put party politics aside and focus on the needs of their individual states.
Baker’s well known for his support of reproductive rights and healthcare. Recently, he indicated he would likely back the “NASTY Women” act, a Massachusetts bill that would end an old state law criminalizing abortion (which has been widely ignored for years but could resurface should Kavanaugh assume a position on the Supreme Court).
Hogan, described by The Washington Post as the “Un-Trump” Republican, has distanced himself from the NRA and expressed “no interest” in their donations just a few days ago.
And, early in his governorship, Scott signed a bill to limit Vermont’s involvement in any federal immigration “crackdown.”
Although GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner of Illinois had indicated he would join this trio in their decision not to sign, he ultimately followed the majority and added his name to the letter.
The letter from the other governors is part of a White House campaign to increase Kavanaugh’s likelihood of confirmation and speed it up, as it pressures Democrats to meet with the nominee, with little success. “Judge Kavanaugh’s impeccable credentials demonstrate he is worthy of this nomination,” the letter reads.
Those pushing for Kavanaugh are hoping to confirm the judge before the Supreme Court’s fall session begins on Oct. 1. Senate hearings are expected to start in late August.
Kavanaugh, 53, has made history as Trump’s second nomination to the Court in the first two years of his term. The longtime D.C. Appeals court judge, who’s built a reputation in D.C. as a staunch conservative, is likely to shift the dynamic on the bench by replacing retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy’s swing vote. Kavanaugh ruled in favor of the Trump administration during a ACLU case on abortion that came before the Appeals court last year. He also believes that sitting presidents should not have to deal with being investigated, leaving critics wary of what might happen if investigations involving Trump reach the Supreme Court during his presidency.
Cover image: Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, center, shakes hands at the conclusion of a bill signing ceremony at the Statehouse, in Boston, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, for a bill that allows a $2 surcharge on car rentals to fund training for police officers in cities and towns across the state. Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)