Shaheen wants 'a chance to listen' to Kavanaugh

Shaheen acknowledges judge's credentials

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Jeanne Shaheen

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Jeanne Shaheen said Wednesday that she wants "a chance to listen" to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh before deciding whether she will support him.

"We need to have a full process where we have a chance to listen to what [Kavanaugh] has to say, to learn about his record and then to make a decision," the New Hampshire Democrat said on CNN"s "At This Hour with Kate Bolduan."

Shaheen acknowledged Kavanaugh's extensive credentials, citing his "long record of 12 years on the DC Circuit" as a federal judge, his time as an aide in the George W. Bush administration and his investigative work with former US Solicitor General and federal Judge Ken Starr, who spoke highly of Kavanaugh's "great respect for precedent" on CNN Tuesday night.

While some Democratic senators immediately opposed President Donald Trump's conservative pick -- including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, who said he "will oppose Judge Kavanaugh's nomination with everything I have" -- Shaheen joins a growing group that is open to confirming him.

On Tuesday, Sen. Mazie Hirono, a Hawaii Democrat, told CNN that although she is "leaning no ... maybe he can convince me to vote for him." Democratic Sens. Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia -- all of whom voted to confirm Justice Neil Gorsuch in 2017 and are up for re-election in states Trump won by double digits in 2016 -- have also expressed openness to Kavanaugh.

After Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's change to Senate rules during Gorsuch's confirmation, Kavanaugh will need only a simple majority of votes in the Republican-majority Senate to be confirmed.

McConnell has said the confirmation vote will happen this fall, before midterm elections.

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