Merkley said holding the vote obstructs him as a senator from performing his constitutional duty to advise and consent on nominees.
“The events of the past ten days have only underscored how critical it is that the Senate conduct a careful and comprehensive review of a nominee before giving its consent,” Merkley said in a release. “The President and Mitch McConnell want to ram through this nomination come hell or high water, without real advice or informed consent by the Senate, but that’s just not how our Constitution works.”
Senate Republicans on the judiciary committee have vowed to hold a vote on the president’s Supreme Court nominee on Friday, just one day after a planned hearing with Christine Blasey Ford. She alleges a decades-old sexual assault by Kavanaugh.
Merkley, a Democrat, is considering a run for president in 2020.