Rand Paul could represent the deciding vote on whether to confirm President Trump’s recent nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh.
Kentucky’s junior Republican senator has said he’s undecided about whether to vote in favor of Kavanaugh, citing concerns with the federal appeals court judge’s rulings on privacy issues.
During a forum in Louisville last week, Paul said he was “very worried” about Kavanaugh’s decisions in favor of broad government power to collect data about citizens without a warrant.
“Kavanaugh ruled that national security trumps privacy and the government should be able to collect all that,” Paul said. “He was basically saying there’s an exception to the Fourth Amendment — and it’s national security.”
Paul occasionally diverges from his Republican colleagues during critical moments, becoming the center of attention during national debates.
In one case, Kavanaugh wrote that the National Security Agency’s warrantless surveillance of Americans “was entirely consistent with the Fourth Amendment” and didn’t amount to unreasonable search and seizure.
After the D.C. Circuit refused to reconsider a decision that police need a warrant to track people’s cars using GPS devices, Kavanaugh dissented, saying people didn’t have a “reasonable expectation of privacy” on the highway.
Paul has backed off threats to derail Trump’s priorities before. Earlier this year he promised to do “whatever it takes” to prevent the confirmation of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, but in the end voted in favor of him.