President Trump Nominates Brett Kavanaugh To Supreme Court

Outside candidate for Supreme Court buoyed by McConnell's backing

On Monday night, President Trump announced he has chosen Judge Brett Kavanaugh as his nominee to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer says a weekend move by the Trump administration to undercut the Affordable Care Act is another reason for senators to closely scrutinize the president's Supreme Court nominee.

Sen. Orrin Hatch says he has spoken with President Donald Trump about his nominee to the Supreme Court and doesn't believe he's going to pick Amy Coney Barrett.

"Just as they held the Merrick Garland seat open on the Supreme Court, they also held open an very bad lot of vacancies on the district courts and the courts of appeal", said Russell Wheeler, who tracks judicial nominations at the Brookings Institution.

Kavanaugh is a favourite of the Republican legal establishment in Washington and a former adviser to President George W Bush. He served on the team of independent counsel Ken Starr during Starr's investigation of the Clinton White House. He has also taught at Yale Law School-from which he graduated-as well as Harvard and Georgetown.

A new liberal interest group, Demand Justice, plans to spend as much as $5 million to push Democrats to oppose Kavanaugh, and try to persuade Republicans Collins and Murkowski to do the same. He dissented from a ruling that let an undocumented immigrant teenager get an abortion while in federal custody. Never mind that she'd already complied with all the requirements of Texas law.

It reads: "Judge Kavanaugh is a fantastic choice to succeed former Justice Kennedy on the Supreme Court. I am deeply honored to be nominated to fill his seat on the Supreme Court", the 53-year-old Kavanaugh said as Trump announced his nomination at the White House.

In addition to abortion, the court could shift to the right on the death penalty, racial discrimination, environmental law and gay rights, all areas where Kennedy at least sometimes joined the court's liberal wing. The chief justice earned a 2018 equivalent of about $254,000.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said they will hold a confirmation vote this fall. But almost all Senate Democrats and many Democratic voters are expected to oppose Trump's nominee.

"This incredibly qualified nominee deserves a swift confirmation and robust, bipartisan support", Trump said.

The timing of the nomination means that Kennedy's replacement could be confirmed before the start of the Supreme Court's next term on the first Monday in October.

Democrats, however, have expressed concern that Kavanaugh could overturn the 1973 ruling Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion nationwide.

Ben Winkler, Washington director of the left-leaning MoveOn.org, called Kavanaugh's nomination "a five-alarm fire for our fundamental rights and our democracy". The others are Republican targets for the confirmation vote who come from Trump-won states where they face re-election this fall.

Among the issues they rule on are abortion, the death penalty, voter rights, immigration policy, racial bias in policing and gun control. "But to me that title will always belong to my mom", Kavanaugh said.

Kennedy cast the pivotal vote to uphold Roe in the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision.

Cashman signed a letter, organized by Arizona Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill, backing the 53-year-old Kavanaugh, who's now a federal appellate judge in the District of Columbia.

Democratic lawmakers, who have a minority of seats in both houses of Congress, have acknowledged there is no clear path to block Trump's pick for the lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. It could also create a lasting majority.

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