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Washington — Michigan's Democratic Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters say they intend to oppose President Donald Trump's nomination of federal appeals Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Trump announced his pick Monday to Trump replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, who plans to retire at month's end after 30 years on the high court.

A D.C. native, Kavanaugh, 53, has served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for 12 years.

Both senators issued statements Friday raising concerns that Kavanuagh would side with interest groups, allow more restrictions on abortion, limit health care for those with preexisting conditions, and undermine workers' rights and environmental protections.  

“After reviewing his record, I believe it is in the best interests of the people of Michigan for me to oppose the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh," Stabenow said in a statement. 

Stabenow, a Lansing Democrat up for re-election this fall, said based on Kavanaugh's rulings and opinions on the federal bench "it is clear that he has chosen to side with the wealthiest special interests over the majority of Americans time after time."

Another "deep concern" is that Trump "chose the one person who has indicated on the record that he believes the president is above the law," she added.

Stabenow highlighted that Kavanaugh once wrote: "Under the Constitution, the President may decline to enforce a statute that regulates private individuals when the President deems the statute unconstitutional, even if a court has held or would hold the statute constitutional."

Stabenow voted no on Kavanaugh’s nomination to the D.C. Circuit in 2006.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee questioned why Stabenow only took three days to review Kavanaugh.

"This move is clearly not about doing what’s best for the country or representing her constituents who voted for President Trump," said spokeswoman Katie Martin. "This is another example of Stabenow trying to please her liberal party boss Chuck Schumer and her liberal donors."

Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, said he was "deeply troubled" by Kavanaugh's efforts to weaken workers’ rights, as well as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, "which will only further stack the deck against hardworking middle class families who are struggling to make ends meet."

Kavanaugh has ruled against clean air protections, "which risks environmental and public health and undermines our economic competitiveness," Peters said.

"Coupled with his dissent in favor of striking down net neutrality, these positions put small businesses that are striving to succeed at a serious disadvantage to wealthy multinational corporations," Peters said.

"Given Judge Kavanaugh’s clear record of placing corporate interests before the rights of Michiganders, I will oppose his nomination." 

 

mburke@detroitnews.com

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