BILLINGS, Mont.—Diving straight into the chaotic Supreme Court nomination hearings after Labor Day was a shock to many. But the obstruction and protests by Democrats struck Trump supporters in Montana as being over the top.
Retiree Bob Wendorff said he’s been following the confirmation process of Judge Brett Kavanaugh in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“I think the way he is being treated by some of the senators is absolutely ridiculous,” Wendorff said before a Trump rally in Billings, Montana, on Sept. 6.
During the opening day of the hearings, as Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) attempted to make his opening statement, he was interrupted for a full hour by Democratic senators pressing for an adjournment. Protests and disruptions ensued all day, with Kavanaugh giving his opening remarks at the end.
Kavanaugh kept his cool under three subsequent days of intense questioning by Democrats and didn’t have any major stumbles. Many pundits characterized the proceedings as a 2020 Democrat campaign bid for president.
“They’re insane. They’re afraid that they’re going to lose some of their power and a lot of the things they’ve pushed through and that’s why they’re fighting tooth and nail,” Wendorff said. “But they’re going a little overboard. If Republicans had ever treated Obama the way that they’re treating some of the Trump appointees, they would have had an absolute fit.”
Democrats and protesters are concerned that having Kavanaugh on the bench would signal an overturn of the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion nationwide.
However, Kavanaugh called the legislation “settled as precedent of the Supreme Court.”
“One of the important things to keep in mind about Roe v. Wade is that it has been reaffirmed many times,” he said.
Wendorff said he has read up on Kavanaugh and believes he will do an excellent job.
“We need more judges that will go by the rule of law and the Constitution, instead of trying to write their own way in and changing the laws as they go. There’s been too much of that,” he said.
Kavanaugh was asked during the hearing on Sept. 5 by Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) about whether he was picked because of an expectation of loyalty to Trump.
“My only loyalty is to the Constitution. I’m an independent judge,” Kavanaugh said.
Kavanaugh, 53, is President Donald Trump’s second nominee to the country’s highest court, after Justice Neil Gorsuch, who was sworn in on April 10.
The balance of the nine-seat Supreme Court will be more conservative if Kavanaugh is confirmed; he would replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was often the swing vote on the bench. Kennedy announced his retirement in June.
Hertha Voorhis attended the Trump rally with a friend who drove eight hours from West Glacier, Montana, to be there.
Voorhis, 62, is a pharmacist who owns a pharmacy in Billings. She said Kavanaugh is a “fabulous choice” for Supreme Court.
“His qualifications make him more qualified to be a Supreme Justice than anyone, probably, that’s ever been nominated,” she said. “I believe he will be very fair. I think he will use the Constitution and make judgments based on the Constitution of this country.”
Voorhis said the Constitutional documents “are as solid today as they were 250 years ago, and I think it’s time that we honor that.”
She said she thinks Trump “very much” believes in the Constitution. “He knows the absolute blessings that our forefathers gave this country.”
Voorhis said she loves that Trump is a businessman and doesn’t view him as being either a Democrat or Republican.
“He’s a pragmatist. He’s a man who sees a problem and wants to fix it,” she said. “His vision is exactly what I envisioned for America. I love this country, and Donald Trump loves this country, too, and he’s doing it for the right reason.”
Army veteran Kendall McRae said he has been following the Kavanaugh nomination closely.
“I think civility has gone out the window,” he said, referring to Democrats. “There’s a lot of information that has been released … and yet they’re asking questions like they’ve never been given access to anything he’s done.
“I think that under those circumstances there should be a lot more civility and a lot more really honest questions rather than just ‘gotcha’ questions.”
McRae said he appreciates judges that follow the law; hence his support for Kavanaugh.
He also has high praise for what Trump has accomplished so far during his presidency.
“I talked to my wife about it this morning, I can’t think of a single decision he’s made I don’t agree with,” he said. “I like the fact he moved the embassy to Jerusalem; I like his foreign policy—the way he’s talking with other nations; I like the fact he got us out of some of those trade agreements; I like the way the economy is beginning to come back.”
“I like the direction he’s taking the country, I agree with him a lot.”
Ed Halland, 68, retired after 42 years working in the federal government in the departments of Interior and Energy.
He said the partisanship in the Supreme Court nomination process is “ridiculous” and the worst he’s ever seen it.
“I can’t believe how childish these people are. Civil discourse has gone out the window—they don’t even want to listen to anything that’s going on,” he said. “They’ve made up their minds—at least the Democrats have—and it’s unbelievable to me to see the direction that they’ve gone.”
For the People
Homemaker Monica Myers, 64, said she has been following the nomination process “enough to know the Demos are putting him through the press.”
She said Kavanaugh is a “great man” who stands for the Constitution and he should be nominated.
Myers said she believes Trump wants “things to be right” and “for the people,” adding that “he needs our prayers.”
Republicans hold the majority in the Senate and Kavanaugh is expected to win confirmation before the Supreme Court convenes on Oct. 1 for its fall session. The judiciary committee plans to make its recommendation to the Senate this week, and after any delays put forth by Democrats, the full Senate will vote.