President Donald Trump's choice to fill a soon-to-be-vacant Supreme Court seat has been met with opposition from both of New York's U.S. senators.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand plan to vote against confirming Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Trump announced Monday night his intent to nominate Kavanaugh to succeed Justice Anthony Kennedy, who will retire at the end of this month.
Republicans hailed Trump's choice, while Democrats expressed concerns about what it would mean for abortion rights, civil rights and health care protections.
As the top Democrat in the Senate, Schumer pledged to fight Kavanaugh's nomination "with everything I have."
"This nomination could alter the balance of the court in favor of powerful special interests and against working families for a generation and would take away labor, civil, and human rights from millions of Americans. We cannot let that happen," Schumer, D-N.Y., said. "If we can successfully block this nomination, it could lead to a more independent, moderate selection that both parties could support."
In her own statement, Gillibrand, D-N.Y., said she doesn't believe Kavanaugh is the right choice.
"I strongly oppose Brett Kavanaugh's nomination and I urge all New Yorkers to raise their voices and join me in opposing him," she explained. "We need a justice who will protect the rights of all people in our state — not just some."
Kavanaugh is Trump's second nominee to fill a vacant Supreme Court seat. Last year, Trump tapped Neil Gorsuch to succeed the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
Trump had the opportunity to nominate Gorsuch because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to consider Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama's pick to fill the vacant seat, in 2016. McConnell argued that because it was an election year, the next president should pick Scalia's successor.
Following Kennedy's retirement announcement late last month, Schumer said the Senate should wait until after the midterm elections to consider Trump's Supreme Court nominee. Republicans have a 51-49 majority in the Senate, and Democrats are hopeful that they could win the majority in November.
McConnell, though, plans to proceed with consideration of Trump's nominee and hopes to confirm Kavanaugh by this fall.