Speed Reads

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Rand Paul reveals he'll vote for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is all in for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

After weeks of apparent indecision, the Kentucky Republican confirmed in a statement Monday that he will support President Trump's nominee. Paul said in the statement that he's still worried about Kavanaugh's views on data privacy, but after hearing Kavanaugh's strong defenses of First and Second Amendment rights, he decided Kavanaugh was the right man for the job.

The Senate's notorious libertarian has caused trouble for several of Trump's nominees, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and CIA Director Gina Haspel, both of whom ended up being confirmed. After Trump named Kavanaugh to replace the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, Paul told Politico that he was "honestly undecided" on whether to support the judge because Kavanaugh appeared to prioritize national security over personal privacy. But pundits were convinced Paul would eventually side with Trump.

Paul confirmed everyone's suspicions in his Monday statement, putting one more Republican behind Kavanaugh. Republicans have a 51-49 majority in the Senate, and Kavanaugh needs at least 50 lawmaker votes to win the nomination (Vice President Mike Pence can serve as a tiebreaker). But many Senate Democrats have condemned Trump's nominee, and potential swing vote Republicans Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine haven't revealed their positions yet, leaving Kavanaugh's spot on the bench a little shaky.