Dem dam broken: Kavanaugh meets with swing-vote West Virginia Sen. Manchin

Sen. Patty Murray told the story of a college friend who sought an illegal abortion. Chip Somodevilla  Getty Images

Sen. Patty Murray told the story of a college friend who sought an illegal abortion. Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Senate Republicans are requesting documents from Supreme Court nominee Bret Kavanaugh's time in the Bush White House but they're doing it without the support of Democrats who believe more documents should be produced.

Kavanaugh is meeting on Monday with Democratic Sen.

Paul, R-Ky., said he made the decision despite some disagreement about his record on the government's collection of bulk phone data without a warrant after the September 11 attacks.

"Over the last two weeks, West Virginians have contacted me more than 8,000 times with their opinions on Judge Kavanaugh and the questions they have for him, and when I met with him today, I asked him several of their questions", Mr. Manchin said in a statement after the meeting.

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Paul's initial concerns over Kavanaugh involved the judge's record on privacy.

- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) July 30, 2018My conversation with Judge Kavanaugh reinforces my belief that he will evaluate cases before the Supreme Court from a textual and originalist point of view. The senator cited Kavanaugh's strong defenses of the First and Second Amendments, as well as his record on defending property rights and "reining in the administrative state" as reasons for his change of heart. Joe Manchin for almost two hours. Supreme Court - seemingly eliminating one of the Republicans most likely to join Democrats in blocking the appointment.

Paul's support for Kavanaugh is a blow to Democrats and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), who has said he will work to defeat Kavanaugh's confirmation with all of his strength. With the Senate control slimly held by Republicans 51-49, Democrats can't block Kavanaugh's nomination outright if Republicans hold together.

The Kentucky senator said he would back Kavanaugh despite misgivings about the judge's views on surveillance and privacy. Mr. Paul had expressed some misgivings about the judge's views on collecting metadata and other libertarian hobby-horses. Joe Manchin III, West Virginia Democrat, met with Judge Kavanaugh on Monday.

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Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, Sen.

The other two GOP Senators, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski seem reasonably well disposed towards Kavanaugh.

While Kavanaugh was staff secretary, Bush made a range of controversial decisions, including signing into law a partial-birth abortion ban and backing a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

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