Republican Senator Paul supports Trump high court nominee

WASHINGTON, July 30 (Reuters) - Republican U.S. Senator Rand Paul said on Monday he will support President Donald Trump's nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court, after expressing concerns about his position on privacy issues.

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"After meeting Judge Kavanaugh and reviewing his record, I have decided to support his nomination," Paul said in a series of Twitter posts explaining his decision.

Kavanaugh, tapped to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, planned to meet later on Monday with Senator Joe Manchin, who was one of three Democrats to support Trump’s first nominee to the high court, Justice Neil Gorsuch.

Manchin will be the first Senate Democrat to meet with Kavanaugh, a conservative appeals court judge, since his nomination earlier this month.

"I have expressed my concern over Judge Kavanaugh’s record on warrantless bulk collection of data and how that might apply to very important privacy cases before the Supreme Court," he wrote.

After reviewing Kavanaugh's record, Paul said he was confident he would be more open to constitutional Fourth Amendment protections involving digital records and property.

Paul said Kavanaugh has a strong record of property rights and "reining in the administrative state," and has issued strong defenses of the First and Second Amendments involving the rights of free speech and to bear arms.

"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 wrote. (Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Susan Cornwell; Editing by Susan Thomas and Marguerita Choy)