No stranger to rocks and hard places, Sen. Dean Heller may be facing a new campaign issue: the perennial political chess piece and proposed nuclear waste dump site that is Yucca Mountain.
A Washington Post piece published Wednesday points out that Supreme Court justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh in 2013 penned a 2-1 majority court opinion stating the Nuclear Regulatory Committee was “simply flouting the law” by refusing to consider a plan for a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. (Ironically, the judge who dissented in that decision was Obama Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, whose confirmation hearing Heller and other Republicans stonewalled to death in 2016.)
Heller has already voiced his support of Kavanaugh and appeared alongside Trump when he announced the nomination.
Nevada residents and politicians overwhelmingly disapprove of storing nuclear waste in the mountain. Heller has been a vocal opponent. His Democratic challenger, Rep. Jacky Rosen, also opposes it.
The Nevada Democratic Party and the Rosen campaign have already begun drawing attention to the issue by emailing out the story.
Heller’s spokesperson told WaPo that Kavanaugh’s court ruling was not tantamount to taking a position on Yucca Mountain, but merely an opinion on the rule of law. Meanwhile, Heller’s campaign today doubled down on the idea that Heller is the best bet for keeping nuclear waste out of Nevada:
— Team Dean (@TeamDean) July 18, 2018
Heller is reportedly scheduled to meet one-on-one with Kavanaugh Thursday.