WASHINGTON, D.C. -- During what was at times a raucous week of confirmation hearings, Sen. Thom Tillis joined his Republican colleagues in offering praise of President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.

  • Sen. Thom Tillis supports Brett Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court justice
  • Democrats worry what Kavanaugh could mean for the future of voting rights, abortion and the Russia probe
  • Asked if he believed Kavanaugh had any shortcomings, Tillis declined to say

Tillis is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which had a chance to vet Brett Kavanaugh during a week-long confirmation hearing.

“You’re brilliant,” the North Carolina senator said during one of his chances to ask Kavanaugh questions. “You’ve augmented your God-given talents with an extraordinary education.”

Contrast that with the Democrats. They grilled Kavanaugh, worried what he could mean for the future of voting rights, abortion and the Russia probe if he joined the nation’s highest court.

During one exchange, Sen. Cory Booker, D-NJ, asked Kavanaugh to announce that he will recuse himself from matters before the Supreme Court involving the Mueller investigation.

Kavanaugh declined to do so.

On this, Tillis defended the nominee, saying he should not have to answer hypothetical questions.

“He will look at the facts and determine whether or not he needs to recuse himself, in the same way that Ruth Bader Ginsburg would need to given the public comments she’s made about the president if it was a subject related to the President,” he said.

Republican leaders want to have Kavanaugh on the bench by the start of the upcoming Supreme Court term, which begins this fall. If they stick together, Republicans have the votes to confirm him without any Democratic support.

Democrats tried to stall, repeatedly calling for access to more documents tied to Kavanaugh’s life in public service, particularly his time in the George W. Bush White House.

Tillis brushed those requests off as little more than showboating by potential 2020 presidential contenders.

Asked if he believed Kavanaugh had any shortcomings, Tillis declined to say.

“There are a lot of smart attorneys on the Judiciary Committee. All of them to try with spar with him, I don’t think any of them came out on top,” he said.

The Senate Juduiciary Committee is expected to vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination in coming weeks. If approved, his nomination will then appear before the full Senate.