Politics & Government

Lindsey Graham is excited about Trump's Supreme Court nominee. What about Tim Scott?

U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott of South Carolina
U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott of South Carolina The State/File

Lindsey Graham is excited about Donald Trump's pick for the Supreme Court.

South Carolina's senior senator was quick to announce his support for Trump's choice of Brett Kavanaugh to sit on the Supreme Court when the decision was announced Monday night, congratulating the president on his "great choice" and saying Kavanaugh will make an "outstanding justice."

"I've known him since he worked in the Bush administration," Graham said. "Judge Kavanaugh has been on the D.C. circuit for years now. We know what we're getting with Judge Kavanaugh; a solid conservative who interprets the law, who won't make the law."

South Carolina's other senator, Tim Scott, was not as full-throated, suggesting he would examine Kavanaugh more closely before making a judgment.

"Now, more than ever, we need a Supreme Court justice who will uphold free speech, religious liberty, and the rights given by the Constitution," Scott said Monday. "Judge Kavanaugh has an impressive resume, and I look forward to meeting him and learning more about him through the confirmation process."

With Republicans holding a narrow majority in the Senate, 51-49, the GOP can't afford to lose any votes for Kavanaugh's confirmation if all the chamber's Democrats line up in opposition to Trump's nominee.

Graham, who sits on the Senate's judiciary committee, will play a role in seeing that Kavanaugh is confirmed by the Senate to fill the seat of retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.

"He will be confirmed, and he will get bipartisan support," Graham said. "I look forward to working in the judiciary committee to make sure he gets confirmed and sits on the Supreme Court."

S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster, an ally of the president, also announced his support for the choice shortly after it was announced Monday.

"I have no doubt that Judge Brett Kavanaugh will make an outstanding Justice of the Supreme Court and will strictly defend the rule of law," McMaster said. "Democrats in the Senate should do what is right for the country and join their Republican colleagues in confirming Judge Kavanaugh before the Supreme Court session begins in October.”