The three leading candidates in the race for the U.S. Senate are weighing in on President Donald Trump's nominee for a vacant seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.
This week, President Donald Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. Kavanaugh, a circuit judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, is the President's pick to replace the retiring Judge Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. Kennedy has served on the Court since 1988, after being nominated for the position by President Ronald Reagan.
Immediately following Trump's nomination of Kavanaugh, the Republican and Democratic nominees for Texas' U.S. Senate seat immediately began using the issue to excite their voter bases.
"By any measure, Judge Kavanaugh is one of the most respected federal judges in the country and I look forward to supporting his nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States," Republican Senator Ted Cruz said in a statement. "For over a decade, Judge Kavanaugh has served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, often referred to as the second highest court in the land. He has over 300 published opinions, with a strong record of defending the Second Amendment, safeguarding the separation of powers, reining in the unchecked power of federal agencies, and preserving our precious religious liberties."
Meanwhile, one of Cruz's opponents, El Paso Democrat Beto O'Rourke, was less enthusiastic about the nomination, encouraging supporters in a fundraising email to vote against Cruz in November.
"This is serious," O'Rourke's campaign said. "But there's still time for us to fight back. In order to be confirmed, Kavanaugh needs 51 votes in the Senate. We know exactly how Ted Cruz will vote. So we've got to do everything we can to ensure he's not in the Senate when the vote is called."
In an interview with the Amarillo Pioneer, Libertarian Neal Dikeman, the third candidate in the race, also weighed in on the nomination. Dikeman said that while he still has research to do on Kavanaugh's record, he opposes attempts to "politicize" Supreme Court nominations.
"I don't believe that we should be politicizing the Supreme Court," Dikeman said. "I think it's dangerous that we are politicizing nominees on issues like Roe v. Wade."
Dikeman also added that he hopes that whoever is confirmed to the Supreme Court has a respect for the Constitution and that nominees should not seek to legislate from the bench.
All three of these candidates will meet for the general election for the seat in November.