Murray quickly opposes Kavanaugh nomination; Cantwell says ‘grave concerns’ with pick

SEATTLE -- Sen. Patty Murray quickly declared Monday night that she would oppose President Donald Trump's nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court and called on others to do so, while her colleague Sen. Maria Cantwell said she had "grave concerns" but didn't go as far as Murray.

"President Trump, more than any President I’ve seen, has been explicit about what he expects from a nominee—and based on everything I know about Judge Kavanaugh, he is exactly what President Trump is looking for. So, I oppose this nomination," Murray, D-Wash., said in a tweet.

"I’m also calling on all my Senate colleagues to stand with me and with people across the country in rejecting Kavanaugh," Murray said. "This is not a time for anyone to sit back & watch while the Supreme Court and the future of our nation hangs in the balance. We just need a few Republicans to stand up to President Trump and stand with Democrats and people across the country in rejecting this nominee."

She concluded, "I’m urging everyone—in red states and blue states, big cities and small towns—to make their voice heard right now: call your Senator, show up at rallies, organize online and in person. There is so much at stake."

Cantwell, who is up for re-election this November, did not go that far. She issued this very brief reaction to the nomination of Kavanaugh: "I have grave concerns about this nomination and Judge Kavanaugh’s previous decisions on net neutrality and health care."

Murray and Cantwell's views are important because, as members of the 100-member Senate, they will actually vote on the nomination.

But that didn't stop the other lawmakers in Washington state from reacting to the nomination. Predictably, Democrats opposed it and Republicans praised it.

"I applaud and support President Trump's decision to nominate Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States," Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., said. "Judge Kavanaugh has devoted his career to public service, and he is certainly qualified for the job. He has a proven record of protecting the rule of law, and I trust that he will faithfully uphold the Constitution that we cherish as citizens of this great nation. I encourage the Senate to quickly confirm Justice Kavanaugh."

However, Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., said, "The President’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace retiring Justice Kennedy on the Supreme Court will only reinforce #SCOTUS as an arm of the Republican Party working to rollback our basic civil and human rights ... President Trump’s partisan nominee will take the court further in the wrong direction and must not be allowed to strip away hard-fought rights and unravel the institution of a balanced Supreme Court."