Sen. Ben Sasse reiterated his support for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Thursday afternoon after meeting with him earlier in the day.
“Judge Kavanaugh is a very attractive pick,” Sasse told reporters. “I think he is a humble man. Clearly a brilliant jurist. He is cited by other federal judges across the country, constantly. Every opinion he writes ends up cited.”
Sasse expects the nomination process to move slowly because of the high number of opinions authored by Kavanaugh that must be reviewed. He wrote more than 300 opinions while on the high-profile U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Sasse said, where much litigation involving the federal government ends up.
Sasse made his remarks during a small press conference at Eppley Airfield, where he had just stepped off a plane from Washington, D.C.
The Nebraska Republican said he would like to see a hearing on Kavanaugh’s appointment in mid- to late August.
“The Supreme Court comes back the first week of October, and I think it would be great for us to have voted before then,” Sasse said.
Sasse said that during his meeting with Kavanaugh, which lasted a little more than an hour, he spoke with the judge about the importance of the First Amendment, especially as it relates to speech on university campuses.
The First Amendment, he said, provides a means to hash out differences without having to resort to violence.
Sasse also addressed other issues, including tariffs on soybeans and the separation of immigrant children from their parents at the U.S. border with Mexico.
“Trade wars are stupid, and nobody wins trade wars,” he said. “We want more trade in the world. ”
The senator said he has spoken to farmers in his office for three of the last four days. And they are worried.
“There is panic about how low our bean prices are,” he said.
He was highly critical of Trump’s former policy of separating children from their parents at the border and said the administration was “not competent in its preparations.”
“It was a very bungled process,” he said.
Sasse described previous “catch-and-release” policies as “terrible” because people who showed up at the border with a child and claimed asylum were almost guaranteed to be released into the U.S. He said that could be cover for human or narcotics trafficking.
Congress, he said, needs to address the immigration issue.