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Sen. Rand Paul announces he'll support the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh

After weeks of threatening to vote against the appointment of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) announced on Monday that the nominee has his support. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

After threatening for weeks to oppose President Donald Trump's nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the U.S. Supreme Court, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) says the president can count on his vote.

What happened?

The senator took to Twitter on Monday following a discussion with the nominee regarding Paul's concerns over Kavanaugh's prior rulings on privacy issues.

Paul tweeted, "After meeting Judge Kavanaugh and reviewing his record, I have decided to support his nomination. No one will ever completely agree with a nominee (unless of course, you are the nominee). Each nominee, however, must be judged on the totality of their views character and opinions."

In a statement released by his office, Paul explained, "Of course, my vote is not a single-issue vote, and much of my reading and conversation has been in trying to figure out exactly how good Judge Kavanaugh will be on other issues before the court.

"My conversation with Judge Kavanaugh reinforces my belief that he will evaluate cases before the Supreme Court from a textual and originalist point of view," Paul said. "I believe he will carefully adhere to the Constitution and will take his job to protect individual liberty seriously."

Why was he concerned?

Paul had previously expressed reservations about giving Kavanaugh the thumbs up, citing opinions the judge had written that supported the data collection of Americans' phone records following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

"I'm worried about his opinion on the Fourth Amendment," Paul said a few weeks ago, speaking of the nominee. "Kavanaugh ruled that national security trumps privacy ... that worries me."

Now what?

Kavanaugh's nomination could come down to a very close vote, with Republicans holding a slim majority in the Senate. With Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) likely to miss the vote due to his health, a "no" vote from just one GOP senator could spell doom for Kavanaugh's confirmation.

According to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the vote for Kavanaugh will likely take place in late August or early September.

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