Senator Heidi Heitkamp United States Senator for North Dakota

Press Releases

**Click here for a photo from the meeting**

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp today met privately with U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh, the nominee to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court, for about 75 minutes in her office.

“One of the most important jobs of any U.S. senator is to fully vet and consider nominees to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court – the highest court in our land,” said Heitkamp. “As I’ve said before, I understand the weight of that job and I take it very seriously. That’s what North Dakotans rightly expect of me and it’s how I carefully considered other Supreme Court nominees, including Justice Gorsuch.

“Today, Judge Kavanaugh and I had a thorough and substantive discussion about the importance of the rule of law, precedent, ethical standards at the U.S. Supreme Court, reaching more consensus on the Court, and avoiding activism from the bench so the Court is shielded from politics. I learned more about his judicial record and temperament – which will also hopefully become clearer during his Senate hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee. I reinforced to him how critical it is that anyone who serves on the U.S. Supreme Court is pragmatic, compassionate, committed to justice, and impartial so that everyone before the Court gets a fair hearing. I also talked about the need to fully understand Indian law and treaties, which are particularly important for states like North Dakota.

“Many special interest groups and members of Congress have stated their opinions on how I should vote. They did so before I’ve been able to do my job of fully considering this nominee. Before making a decision, I needed to meet with Judge Kavanaugh, as I did today, and I will closely study his answers at his Senate hearing. I'll also continue reviewing his record. North Dakotans expect more of their elected officials than partisan judgements. Politics should not be part of the vetting process or the decision-making process. Determining who should serve on the U.S. Supreme Court is too important.”

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Contact Senator Heitkamp's press office at press@heitkamp.senate.gov