Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill won’t vote for President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, the Democrat said in a news release Wednesday.
After weeks of deliberation, McCaskill said she opposes Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court because of so-called dark money — donations to nonprofits that keep the source secret.
Speaking at a senior living center in Kansas City on Thursday afternoon, McCaskill lamented the impact of the Citizen's United Supreme Court ruling in 2010, which prohibited the government from restricting anonymous independent spending on political campaigns by nonprofit and other groups.
She said Kavanaugh's past support of such spending was troubling.
"The tsunami of dark money that is washing over Missouri right now - and the vast majority of that money, nobody even knows who's paying the bill - that's wrong, and I believe we have to reverse that," McCaskill said.
Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation vote has been delayed due to an accusation that he sexually assaulted a woman while he was in high school. Though McCaskill has for years worked to combat sexual violence on college campuses, in the military and in general, she said that while the allegations are “troubling and deserve a thorough and fair examination,” her decision didn’t hinge on that.
“He has revealed his bias against limits bias against limits on campaign donations which places him completely out of the mainstream of this nation,” she said in a news release, also pointing to what she said was being "uncomfortable about his view on presidential power."
McCaskill’s opponent in the midterm election, Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley, said earlier Wednesday on a national conservative talk show that the allegations look to be “an ambush” by Democrats. But Hawley has also said that the accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, should have her say in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Kavanaugh and Ford are set to go in front of the committee next week.
Erica Hunzinger is the editor of Harvest Public Media and an editor with KCUR. Follow her on Twitter: @ehunzinger.