Judge Brett Kavanaugh: In His Own Words

Frederick Owens
July 10, 2018

President Donald Trump has picked Brett Kavanaugh, a federal appeals court judge with extensive legal credentials and a lengthy political record, to succeed Justice Anthony M. Kennedy on the Supreme Court, NBC News reported. He's a Yale-educated appellate court judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit and clerked for retiring Justice Kennedy.

If confirmed, the nominee will create a clear conservative majority on the nation's highest court for generations to come.

McConnell warned Trump earlier that Kavanaugh could be more hard to confirm given his long history and paper trail, The New York Times reported over the weekend, and sources in both parties have said it could be hard to move the nomination quickly.

With reality television-style suspense, he had kept everyone guessing up until the last moment.

President Donald Trump said Sunday he was still deliberating his decision on a replacement for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy as his self-imposed deadline for an announcement neared amid furious lobbying and frenzied speculation. He believes that the hearings should not be ideological battles and that nominees should "receive prompt and respectful treatment, and key judicial vacancies can be filled without unnecessary delay". Bush first selected him for the D.C. court in 2003, but the nomination languished and lapsed.

"I am grateful to you and I am humbled by your confidence in me". He helped investigate Democratic former President Bill Clinton in the 1990s working for independent counsel Kenneth Starr.

Kethledge, a former Kennedy law clerk, has sat on the 6th Circuit since 2008 after being nominated by George W. Bush.

In recent years the Supreme Court has made landmark decisions on fundamental and often politically charged issues ranging from same-sex marriage, abortion, gun rights, corporate money in elections, and free speech. He was on Republican George W. Bush's team in the contentious Florida recount fight in the 2000 presidential election, then served as a senior official in Bush's White House. Before joining the federal court, Hardiman practiced law in Pittsburgh.

It rules on such issues as abortion, the death penalty, voter rights, immigration policy, campaign finance and racial bias in policing. Trump could be betting that having Kavanaugh on the court could be a boon to him in the face of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of his activities.

A coalition of liberal groups has organized at least 39 events on Tuesday around the country under the #SaveSCOTUS banner, a reference to liberal fears that the next justice will shift the court to the right. But Judge Kavanaugh may not be so accommodating.

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The front-runner was a front-runner for a reason. In the end, however, the safe pick won out.

Kavanaugh, 53, is a longtime fixture of the Republican legal establishment.

John Cornyn will be in the room when the president reveals his choice.

The appointment will not change the ideological breakdown of a court that already has a 5-4 conservative majority, but nevertheless could move the court to the right.

If the Senate confirms Trump's nominee, we will be stuck with a Court that sides with big corporations over the American people.

Republicans in the Senate need to be completely united on the pick, because of the delicate nature of their majority. Sen.

With Senator John McCain battling cancer in his home state of Arizona, Republicans can now only muster 50 votes. Trump is committed to placing an extreme ideologue on the Court, who could endanger environmental protections, overturn Roe v. Wade, and undermine protections for people with pre-existing conditions. And, of those who said it was the "most important factor" in their decision, over half voted for Trump. Only time will tell.

All eyes on which senators?

Democrats, meanwhile, have raised alarm not just over Kavanaugh's conservative bona fides, but one of past academic writings in which he argued presidents "should be excused from some of the burdens of ordinary citizenship while serving in office" such as responding to civil lawsuits and investigative inquiries based out of criminal charges. Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Heitkamp.

That could imperil support from Republican moderates in the Senate, especially Alaska's Lisa Murkowski and Maine's Susan Collins. Other Democrats who represent heavily Republican states will also be under pressure to support the nominee.

Activists have sent coat hangers - an abortion rights symbol - to her office.

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