Missouri’s senior senator announced Wednesday that she will vote “no” on the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill speaks to reporters at Missouri Farm Bureau headquarters in Jefferson City on August 10, 2018 (file photo from Jason Taylor)

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) issued her statement on Wednesday evening.

McCaskill says while the recent sexual assault allegations are “troubling and deserve a thorough and fair examination” by the Senate Judiciary Committee, her decision is not based on those allegations but rather on Judge Kavanaugh’s positions on key issues, including dark money.

McCaskill writes, in part: “He has revealed his bias against limits on campaign donations which places him completely out of the mainstream of this nation.”

McCaskill is running for re-election in November against Attorney General Josh Hawley (R), who says McCaskill has continually sided with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) on Supreme Court nominations.

Hawley issued a two-paragraph statement on Wednesday evening, which reads: “Nobody is surprised. Claire McCaskill is now 0 for 6 on Supreme Court nominees since she started running for the Senate 12 long years ago. She has sided with Chuck Schumer every single time – for liberals and against Missouri. Senator McCaskill has forgotten where she’s from and become just another Washington liberal.”

President Donald Trump (R) is scheduled to speak Friday evening at the John Q. Hammons Center in Springfield. Trump has been critical of Senator McCaskill and has endorsed Hawley in the race.

The election is November 6, and some analysts believe Missouri’s U.S. Senate race could determine which party controls the Senate in January.

Here is the full statement from Senator McCaskill, who says she’s voted to confirm more than two-thirds of President Donald Trump’s judicial nominations since he took office in January 2017:

“I have been thorough in examining Judge Kavanaugh’s record. And while the recent allegations against him are troubling and deserve a thorough and fair examination by the Senate Judiciary Committee, my decision is not based on those allegations but rather on his positions on several key issues, most importantly the avalanche of dark, anonymous money that is crushing our democracy.

“He has revealed his bias against limits on campaign donations which places him completely out of the mainstream of this nation. He wrote, ‘And I have heard very few people say that limits on contributions to candidates are unconstitutional although I for one tend to think those limits have some constitutional problems.’

“Going even further, Judge Kavanaugh will give free reign to anonymous donors and foreign governments through their citizens to spend money to interfere and influence our elections with so-called ‘issue ads.’ These ‘issue ads’ are now flooding the airways in this nation to directly influence election outcomes, drowning the concept of individuals having the strongest voice in our democracy. Judge Kavanaugh has clearly said that there should be literally no restrictions on these ads. He has called restrictions on these dark money ads ‘blatantly unconstitutional.’ And in a court opinion, he went out of his way to say that foreign nationals weren’t restricted from creating or contributing to these ads- even when that wasn’t the issue before the court. A Russian company that has been indicted for election interference is currently using Judge Kavanaugh’s opinion to argue for their innocence.

“While I am also uncomfortable about his view on Presidential power as it relates to the rule of law, and his position that corporations are people, it is his allegiance to the position that unlimited donations and dark anonymous money, from even foreign interests, should be allowed to swamp the voices of individuals that has been the determining factor in my decision to vote no on his nomination.”

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