Trump picks conservative Brett Kavanaugh for Supreme Court

Clay Curtis
July 10, 2018

Donald Trump is poised to continue his remake of the U.S. Supreme Court, with a nomination to be announced Monday night that could solidify conservative jurisprudence for years.

Kavanaugh now faces what appears to be another fierce fight for confirmation in the Senate, where Trump's fellow Republicans hold a slim majority.

The official said Trump decided on Kavanaugh, a front-runner throughout the search process, because of his large body of jurisprudence cited by other courts, describing him as a judge that other judges read.

After a short but intense build-up since Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement less than two weeks ago, the president has scheduled a prime-time event from the White House East Room at 9 p.m.

Trump's success in confirming conservative judges, as well as a Supreme Court justice, has cheered Republicans amid concerns about his limited policy achievements and chaotic management style.

Judge Kavanaugh recently voiced disagreement with a court decision allowing an undocumented teenage immigrant to have an abortion.

Trump past year appointed Neil Gorsuch, who has already become one of the most conservative justices, after Senate Republicans in 2016 refused to consider Democratic former President Barack Obama's nominee Merrick Garland to fill a vacancy left by the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia.

"What matters is not a judge's political views, but whether they can set aside those views to do what the law and the Constitution require". The White House said Monday that former Arizona Sen.

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Kavanaugh grew up in Bethesda, a Maryland suburb of Washington, and attended the same high school as Trump's first Supreme Court appointee, Neil Gorsuch.

U.S. Court of Appeals Judges Raymond Kethledge, Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett and Thomas Hardiman are all in the running as final candidates.

He also was a key aide to Kenneth Starr during his investigation of President Bill Clinton and worked in the White House during George W. Bush's presidency. Republicans now control that number of Senate seats, although one of their number, Senator John McCain, is at home in Arizona battling cancer.

Both endorsed Kavanaugh's candidacy for the high court in a letter addressed to Congressional leaders including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Capito said she does not think the court will overturn the ruling.

"No president has ever consulted more widely, or talked with more people from more backgrounds to seek input abut a Supreme Court nomination".

The potential nominees were narrowed down from a list of 25 administration-approved judges, former judges and one member of Congress, as curated by Leonard Leo, executive vice president of the Federalist Society and Trump's top Supreme Court adviser. Kelly Ayotte acted as sherpa for then-nominee Neil Gorsuch ahead of his 54-45 confirmation vote to the Supreme Court in April of a year ago. Kavanaugh said, "My judicial philosophy is straightforward".

He works for Washington-based lobbying firm Covington & Burling. Kavanaugh in his dissent mentioned that a financial penalty levied under Obamacare on Americans who opted not to obtain health insurance might be considered a tax, a pivotal distinction in the conservative legal challenge to the law. Democrats painted him as too partisan, but he ultimately was confirmed by the Senate three years later.

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