ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - After an hour-long meeting with Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh Thursday, Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, announced plans to support Kavanaugh in the confirmation process.
"He is someone who will interpret the law and Constitution as written, he holds a healthy skepticism regarding the expansive power of federal agencies, he is a strong protector of the Second Amendment, and he has the values, temperament and humility I believe Alaskans will value on the Supreme Court," Sullivan said in a statement Thursday afternoon.
The two also discussed ANILCA, ANCSA and the new ANWR law during the meeting.
Speaking to reporters after the two met, Sullivan said the two spoke at length about Kavanaugh's dissent in Heller v. District of Columbia, a 2011 D.C. Circuit court case challenging Washington, D.C. gun control ordinances put in place following a 2008 Supreme Court decision. That decision found a D.C. handgun ban and prohibition of using firearms in the home for self defense were violations of the Second Amendment.
"That’s also a really important issue in Alaska. Strong views with regard to the Second Amendment and he’s been a leader on that, there’s no doubt about it," Sullivan said.
Elsewhere on Capitol Hill, Rep. Don Young expressed his support for Kavanaugh's nomination.
"I think it's a good nomination," Young told Channel 2 News Thursday, though he reiterated that Kavanaugh's confirmation is in the hands of the Senate, not the House.
"I've always believed the President is like the captain of the ship, and he has the right to appoint," Young said. "If they're qualified to sail on the ship, he has the right to do so," referring to Kavanaugh having already been confirmed to the appellate court on which he currently sits.
But all eyes remain on Sen. Lisa Murkowski, one of five senators — including Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and three red state democrats — whose votes will likely be decisive in Kavanaugh's confirmation in the senate.
Kavanaugh's position on reproductive rights, Roe v. Wade in particular, is sure to weigh heavily in Murkowski and Collins' decisions.
“I don't have an impression on Judge Kavanaugh as to where he may fall on the issue of abortion, as well as the many other issues that I will weigh as we move forward with this process,” Murkowski said Tuesday. “So again, that's why I think all of us need to be doing our due diligence.”
No date has been set for Kavanaugh's confirmation vote, but GOP Senate leaders say they'll push for a vote before the next Supreme Court term begins on October 1.