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Retiring Hatch touts Supreme Court nominee in Utah speech

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Republican Orrin Hatch is going before a hometown crowd to tout his party’s second Supreme Court nominee in as many years as he prepares to finish a four-decade career in the U.S. Senate.

In a speech at a conservative think tank in Salt Lake City Thursday, Hatch described judge Brett Kavanaugh as a “decent, honorable person” caught in bitter partisan wrangling. He has said he’ll do everything in his power to see Kavanaugh confirmed to the high court.

Looking toward the end of his tenure, Hatch smiled and said, “I can say this, you’re going to miss me.”

Democrats worry Kavanaugh would tilt the court rightward on issues like women’s access to abortion. Hatch maintained no one knows exactly how he would rule.

The Senate is planning to vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination in the fall.

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