Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) is facing increased scrutiny over her past support of President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees.
In the hours leading up to last week’s Democratic presidential debate, the U.S. Senate confirmed 12 more of the president’s judicial nominees. That brings the president’s total on the year to 102 federal judges. His administration has seen the confirmation of 187 judges in total, including two U.S. Supreme Court justices and 50 circuit courts of appeal judges.
Moderator Judy Woodruff questioned Klobuchar about her support for many of these nominees during Thursday night’s debate, noting that a judge she voted for joined a recent decision to strike down the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, The Daily Caller News Foundation reported.
Klobuchar responded by claiming that the judge who actually authored the opinion was a Republican appointee who was confirmed in 2007 without opposition.
“I think it is very important when we look at these judges to acknowledge that there are some of these judges that you think are going to be okay, and they aren’t,” said Klobuchar. “But what would I do as president? I would appoint judges that are in the vein of people like Elena Kagan, and Justice Breyer, and Sonia Sotomayor, and let’s not forget the notorious RBG. That’s what I would do.”
A Think Progress article from early on in Klobuchar’s candidacy said that the Minnesota senator supported more of President Trump’s judicial nominees than any of her colleagues running for president.
As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Klobuchar voted in favor of more than 56 percent of the president’s judicial nominees as of April.
CNN anchor Dana Bash broached the subject again during a Sunday interview and said Klobuchar’s current record on Trump-nominated judges is “about half and half.”
“You’ve actually voted for dozens of Trump-nominated judges. Was that a mistake?” asked bash.
“I am somewhere in the middle of our caucus on these judge votes, and I think everyone tries make their best determination,” said Klobuchar, who was again asked if she “regrets” her support of the president’s judicial nominees.
“I would have to look at each of those judges. I don’t carte blanche make a decision about each judge based on whether or not Trump nominated them,” the presidential hopeful replied. “So you make your best judgment.”
Bash said Klobuchar voted in favor of 29 Trump nominees this year while 26 others were approved by voice vote, so she “gave tacit approval.” Klobuchar said that “if you went by voice vote” then most of her fellow presidential candidates approved of Trump’s nominees as well.
“My track record of recommending judges to Barack Obama—and he took every recommendation I made—have been some excellent, excellent judges,” she continued. “I think that’s what you look at as well as my experience. I’m the one that when Justice Kavanaugh, then nominee Kavanaugh, took me on at the Judiciary Committee, I didn’t back down. I strongly opposed him and made a point to the American people.”
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo “Amy Klobuchar” by Gage Skidmore CC2.0.