SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — KOLR10 Political Analyst Dr. Brian Calfano has analysis on how the Kavanaugh nomination to the Supreme Court may affect politics in Missouri.
Monday night’s nomination puts in play both a political and a policy challenge for liberals and democrats. 

The political challenge regards what Democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill does in response to the president’s pick. She needs some Repubicans to cross party lines to win in November, but a vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh is going to alienate her Democratic base, and McCaskill can’t afford Democrats to stay home in November.

On the policy front, Brett Kavanaugh is clearly a judicial conservative who, despite all assertions to the contrary about keeping an open mind and respecting precedent, is likely to find a way to side with the Court’s conservative bloc on cases that will chip away at abortion rights. 

Many in our viewing area support overturning Roe v. Wade, so it’s likely they applaud this nomination decision.

But the key now will be how quickly Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can rally the 50 votes he will need to put Kavanaugh over the top. 

Some of this will depend on how many of the so-called red state democratic Senators support the nomination.

If McCaskill is a no, she plays into Josh Hawley’s rhetoric, but a no-vote might be the senator’s best political strategy heading into November. 

McCaskill Monday released the following statement on the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy.

“I look forward to thoroughly examining Judge Kavanaugh’s record in the coming weeks as the Senate considers his nomination to replace Justice Kennedy.”

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, and Republican opponent to McCaskill’s reelection bid in November, released this statement Monday:

“Judge Kavanaugh is a remarkably qualified nominee for the Supreme Court. I have full confidence he will uphold the Constitution as the people wrote it, not impose his values from the bench. And that’s what the people deserve. The balance of the court turns on this nomination and I applaud the President for his thoughtfulness on this decision.

“Unfortunately, the deciding vote may well rest with Senator Claire McCaskill – who has been wrong on Supreme Court nominees every single time. She supports liberal activists, voted for every single judicial nomination under President Obama, and opposed Justice Neil Gorsuch. She refuses to abandon Chuck Schumer and her left-wing allies, and we can expect this time to be no different. Missourians deserve a Senator who will fight for our way of life and support a constitutional conservative like Judge Kavanaugh.” 

And Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) who is not up for reelection this year, released this statement:

“Judge Kavanaugh is a highly-qualified nominee with an outstanding legal background. I look forward to learning more about his judicial record and talking with him about his judicial philosophy as the confirmation process moves forward.”