Coons disappointed after Kavanaugh confirmation (Adam Duvernay & Josephine Peterson)
Sen. Chris Coons came home on Saturday night after a “hard day,” but pronounced himself “focused on moving forward with trying to find ways that we can heal the Senate.”
He had made up his mind to vote against the nominee, but played a role in persuading Sen. Jeff Flake to call for further FBI inquiry. Regrettably, this effort turned out to be “more narrow, more circumscribed than I had expected or than I thought was what we deserved.” However, “the FBI report” apparently “convinced all but one congressional Republican, Alaska. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, to seat Kavanaugh on the high court.”
He supports the near-unanimous “no” vote of Democratic senators (Sen. Joe Manchin defected), saying “we need to show we respect and hear and will continue to support survivors of sexual abuse” and “have to confront the very real possibility the Supreme Court will be a sharply more conservative force in American political life.”
Sen. Coons laments the razor-thin margin by which Kavanaugh was confirmed, saying “we need to return to a time when the Senate confirmed justices by overwhelming bipartisan majorities.” And this would be accomplished, he continues, by reversing the changes to the Senate’s filibuster rule and having a president who doesn’t choose nominees from a “narrow and very ideological list.”
Sen. Coons says “his constituents largely opposed Kavanaugh’s appointment,” but he concedes that some Delawareans were pleased by the outcome. The challenge “for all of us will be to find ways to respect each other and to work together in the weeks and months and years ahead.”
In the meantime, there is reason to be worried about “the legitimacy of the court” because of attacks Kavanaugh made on Democrats during the last stage of his confirmation hearing. Sen. Coons seems more focused on finding fault with Republicans than evaluating the behavior of members of his own party. In a similar vein, see this video (8 minutes) of his interview on Meet the Press, 10/7/18.