SALT LAKE CITY — Senator Orrin Hatch accused Democrats of seeking to block U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh because they are upset Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election.
“I love the fact that Hillary was beaten, especially by Donald Trump,” Sen. Hatch said at an event Thursday sponsored by the conservative think tank Sutherland Institute.
Hatch gave a fierce defense of Judge Kavanaugh and vowed he would be confirmed to the nation’s top court. He also accused Democrats of “politicizing” the judiciary by refusing to consider qualified judges.
“If you didn’t know better, you would think President Trump nominated a war criminal,” Utah’s senior senator told the crowd.
Sen. Hatch said Democrats know Judge Kavanaugh has a fine record, but they’ve decided to go “scorched earth” on his nomination. He insisted Republicans have treated Democratic judicial nominees fairly, but have not had the same in return.
Asked by FOX 13 about Republicans who refused to consider then-President Obama’s Supreme Court nomination of Merrick Garland, Sen. Hatch said it was a different time.
“Remember that was right before a presidential election. And I like Merrick Garland. I think he’s a great judge to this day. He knows that. I personally saw it,” Sen. Hatch said. “But the fact of the matter was it was a key position they wanted to fill right before a presidential election which wasn’t the right thing to do.”
Sen. Hatch added he was willing to support Garland, but reiterated the timing of the presidential election. He told the Sutherland Institute crowd he believes Judge Kavanaugh will be a fine addition to the Court
“He will be on the Supreme Court because he will be confirmed,” he said.
Watch Sen. Hatch’s remarks to the Sutherland Institute here: