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Hawley reaffirms support for Kavanaugh, calls for Senate to vote soon

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley appeals to supporters Monday at a rally in Imperial, Mo., to promote his bid for the U.S. Senate.
Jo Mannies I St. Louis Public Radio

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Josh Hawley says the new allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have not shaken his support – nor his call for a swift Senate vote.

Hawley, who’s currently Missouri attorney general, told allies at a rally Monday in Jefferson County that the Democratic efforts to delay Kavanaugh’s likely confirmation have created “a circus’’ atmosphere.

“It really is embarrassing,’’ Hawley said. “I just think the Democrats’ behavior has been shameful.’’

He singled out Sen. Diane Feinstein, a California Democrat who is her party’s top member of the Senate Judiciary Committee considering Kavanaugh’s nomination.

The panel is in the midst of dealing with accusations of sexual misconduct that at least two women – Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez – have lodged against Kavanaugh. The incidents are alleged to have occurred while he and the women were in high school or college.

Kavanaugh has denied the allegations.

Hawley attacked Feinstein’s decision not to make Ford’s allegation public earlier; Feinstein has said she was acting on Ford’s initial request to keep it private.

In any case, Hawley said he was pleased the Senate committee has scheduled a Thursday hearing.

“I think Dr. Ford, I understand, she’s going to come forward and testify. I think that’s good. I think she should, and I think they ought to vote,” Hawley said. “And if these other, this new stuff out there, that ought to be aired out Thursday. There’s going to be a hearing. Let’s have it all, and then they ought to vote.”

For months, Hawley has highlighted the Supreme Court issue in his bid to oust Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill.

McCaskill announced last week that she will vote against Kavanaugh. She cited his views and rulings on other issues – notably his apparent support for current laws that allow campaign donors to keep their identities private. McCaskill said she was concerned about the allegations of sexual misconduct, but emphasized that they had not been a determining factor in her decision.

Missouri’s other U.S. senator, Republican Roy Blunt, announced weeks ago that he supports Kavanaugh.

Follow Jo Mannies on Twitter: @jmannies

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

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