As Kavanaugh works Capitol Hill, Donnelly says he has 'no preconception' on nominee

Brett Kavanaugh appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill April 26, 2004, on his nomination to be U. S. circuit judge for the District of Columbia Circuit. (AP Photo/Dennis Cook, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) - Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh returns to Capitol Hill Wednesday for a whirlwind round of meetings with key Republican senators as Democrats ramp up their efforts to block his confirmation.

Kavanaugh, the conservative appellate court judge President Donald Trump chose to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, is set to meet separately with Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and other senators.

Democrats, as the Senate minority, have few options to block Kavanaugh. But they warn that confirming Kavanaugh will tilt the court rightward, potentially rolling back women's access to abortion and undoing aspects of the Affordable Care Act.

No date has been set for confirmation hearings.

Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly says he hopes to schedule a meeting with Kavanaugh within the next week. Moderate Republicans and Democrats up for re-election in states that President Trump easily won in 2016 are being lobbied hard to confirm Kavanaugh.

That includes Donnelly. When we spoke to him, he told us he plans to review Kavanaugh's court decisions and legal writings ahead of their in-person meeting.

"I come to this with no preconception and no leanings one way or another. The best thing to do is get as much information as possible," said Donnelly, (D-Indiana).

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