Sen. John Thune finds 'even-handed umpire' in Judge Brett Kavanaugh

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Senator John Thune (R-SD) has his crack at the president’s pick for the Supreme Court Wednesday. Thune and DC Circuit Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh faced off in their one-one-one meeting.

Thune says they discussed their families and how the process has been for Kavanaugh before getting down to brass tacks. Thune says they discussed a number of issue areas, including abortion, the Second Amendment and the Affordable Care Act.

The third ranking Republican senator says one of his key priorities for selecting the next justice is to ensure he or she isn’t trying to legislate, but simply applying the Constitution in an even-handed way to existing laws. He says he believes Kavanaugh will be that judge.

“This is somebody who really does understand that the role of a judge is to be an umpire, it’s to call balls and strikes. It’s not to legislate. That’s the job of the Congress,” said Thune.

Thune says it would take something drastic for him to vote “no” on the nominee. While there is certainty surrounding his vote, there is a lot of focus on some of Thune’s Republican colleagues.

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) is considered a key vote on important nominations, with the Republican party holding a razor thin majority line. Murkowski is not tipping her hand as to which way she will vote. She says she is gauging the concerns of her constituents ahead of her momentous one-on-one meeting with Kavanaugh.

“I’m listening. I’ve got a pretty good list going already about the many issues that others have inquired about and that I am building on my own. So I anticipate it’s going to be a pretty lengthy meeting,” said Murkowski.

Murkowski says she has not yet set up the date for that meeting.