Supreme Court nominations made, Trump may have none to go

Clay Curtis
July 12, 2018

Roughly 25.6 million people tuned-in to major broadcast and TV news networks Monday evening to watch Mr. Trump nominate Brett Kavanaugh to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy - about 21 percent fewer than the almost 33 million who watched live previous year when the president picked Neil Gorsuch to replace late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, AdWeek first reported. "The old dodge of stare decisis has been thrown out the window because Justice [John] Roberts, Justice [Samuel] Alito [Jr.] and Justice [Neil] Gorsuch claimed they would follow precedent and the minute they got on the court they did not".

A "thorough" review of Kavanaugh's paper trail is exactly what anxious Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, about Kavanaugh, given the appeals court judge has decades of political and legal opinions in which senators on the fence could probably find something not to like.

The most likely outcome of the Kavanaugh nomination involves all 50 Republican senators voting to confirm him to the Supreme Court (with John McCain not voting). "But we were operating under a law that said this is what the independent counsel's job is, so that's what we did", Leipold said.

Republican Sen. Tom Cotton (Ark.) referred to Democratic opposition to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as a "laughable political game" during an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt.

Leonard Leo, Vice President of the Federalist Society, has been called the puppeteer behind Trump's court choices, but that narrative overlooks the influence of McGahn, also a Federalist Society member. "To go through it thoroughly, to demand the release of every single record that might be relevant", Sen.

Remember: This is precisely what McConnell flagged for Trump as a potential problem with Kavanaugh's nomination: Never that he wasn't qualified, but that his extensive time in government service, and the documents that come with it, cannot only lead to possible surprises and also give Democrats grounds - legitimate or not - to delay consideration of the nomination. Before that, Kavanaugh worked for Bush in the White House and during his election recount with Democratic opponent Al Gore in 2000. But Democrats will cast Kavanaugh as part of the same Washington "swamp" Trump vowed to drain. They already have also been hammering the message that he would vote to undermine key progressive priorities like the landmark Roe v. Wade decision on abortion rights and the Supreme Court decision affirming the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.

"The only question about Roe is whether it will be officially overruled or cut back to the point where as a practical matter for women seeking abortions, there isn't much difference", he said. Diane Feinstein said at the press conference.

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"He's a good guy, very smart, very conscientious, very thoughtful, a good colleague, unbelievably hard-working", Leipold said.

It's possible, and because of Judge Kavanaugh, it's probable!

Democrats have pointed to past Kavanaugh judicial writings as evidence that he believes a president is above the law.

These comments should ring alarm bells given that the president is now under legal investigation, while his executive orders are being challenged in court. Is it any wonder that President Trump chose Kavanaugh from the list of 25? Republicans have celebrated Kavanaugh for his impressive resume and extensive experience as a federal appeals court judge. If confirmed, he would replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, for whom Kavanaugh once clerked.

McConnell said Tuesday that he hoped they would keep an open mind.

Democrats hope two Republicans who back abortion rights, Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, will vote against the nominee. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of IN and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota - "to once again vote across the aisle for their own sake to keep their Senate seats".

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