Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh "sticks to the law", former clerk says

Posted July 11, 2018

The president's announcement from the East Room of the White House during prime time television hours began with an expression of gratitude for Kennedy's service-then he announced a former Kennedy clerk to take the justice's spot, judge Brett Kavanaugh. Like Trump's first nominee a year ago, Justice Neil Gorsuch, Kavanaugh would be a young addition who could help remake the court for decades to come with rulings that could restrict abortion, expand gun rights and roll back key parts of Obamacare.

Gorsuch's nomination became possible because McConnell blocked Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland to fill a vacancy in 2016.

Pence, who is also president of the Senate, called Kavanaugh a "good man" and "quite simply the most qualified and the most deserving nominee to the Supreme Court of the United States".

"In a nation with over 700 sitting federal judges, many of whom were appointed by Republican presidents, it is outrageous that President Trump will nominate from a list of just 25 dictated to him by the Heritage Foundation".

The 53-year-old has served as a Court of Appeals judge since 2006.

In an article in the Minnesota Law Review (pdf), Kavanaugh also noted his position on Senate confirmation hearings-a process he'll soon be facing.

The president said: "Judge Kavanaugh has impeccable credentials, unsurpassed qualifications and a proven commitment to equal justice under the law".

"The Supreme Court has upheld racial segregation, enabled voter suppression, and equated corporations with people".

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The White House and Republican party want the nomination in the bag before November's mid-term elections.

Prior to being tapped by Trump, some conservatives questioned Kavanaugh's bona fides, and he's controversial with Democrats because of his role in the Starr investigation of Clinton. But his supporters have cited his experience and wide range of legal opinions. "I look forward to following the U.S. Senate confirmation process". Corker took a harder line.

Some Republican senators had favored other options.

Using similar language, Nelson said he was open to meeting with Kavanaugh to discuss issues including "women's rights" and health care.

Democrats and liberal advocacy groups quickly lined up in opposition. "Whoever President Trump put up they were opposed to".

Another Democrat representing a conservative state, Doug Jones (Ala.), was not in the Senate to vote on Gorsuch.

The Judiciary Committee need not approve the nomination for it to advance. McConnell has a 51-49 Senate majority, narrowed further by the absence of ailing Sen. The site's headline says it all: "Democrats' Senate dream slips away". Kennedy sometimes joined the liberal justices on key rulings on divisive social issues like abortion and gay rights, a practice his replacement may not duplicate.

At the top of that list is abortion.

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The appointment of another conservative justice to the Supreme Court creates the possibility that the court could overturn its landmark 1973 abortion rights ruling, opening the door for Republicans to legislate a sea change in abortion access across the country. In the piece, Kavanaugh suggested that Congress might pass a law "exempting a President-while in office-from criminal prosecution and investigation, including from questioning by criminal prosecutors or defense counsel". "He is humble, collegial and cares deeply about the federal courts".

Kavanaugh's long record includes his 12 years as a judge with almost 300 written opinions, a multitude of scholarly articles, a paperwork trail from his time in the Bush White House, and thousands of documents from when he served on the Starr investigation.

On abortion, Kavanaugh voted in October to delay an abortion for a teenage immigrant who was in government custody.

Lawyers who have argued cases in front of Kavanaugh recalled him as an active questioner from the bench, and a very well prepared jurist who would fit in on a Supreme Court whose justices are largely not shy in oral arguments with advocates.

While on the campaign trail, Trump said that if he gets to nominate one or two conservative justices, the court would "automatically" overturn Roe v. Wade.

Republicans have little margin of error for the final vote unless a few Democrats can be brought onboard.

While the president has been pondering his choice, his aides have been preparing for what is expected to be a tough confirmation fight.

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