Trump nominates Judge Brett Kavanaugh as next Supreme Court justice

Tuesday, 10 Jul, 2018

Support for nomination: Barrett also served as a law clerk to the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who is beloved by conservatives.

McConnell has said he hopes to have a justice in place by the opening of the court's new term in October, and it's possible that a voluminous paper trail could add more time to the review - or at least give Democrats a little more traction on efforts to delay the proceedings.

What is nearly certain - and those across the political spectrum agree - is that Kavanaugh's selection will spark a major confirmation battle in the U.S. Senate, where Republicans hold a narrow 51-49 majority and opposition Democrats say they will fight to prevent the high court from swinging further to the right.

Kavanaugh has been dubbed a Washington insider, having worked in both Bush administrations, and is now a judge on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia circuit.

The executive editor of the Lawfare blog, Susan Hennessey, who is also a Brookings fellow in national security in governance studies, called it "completely freaky that the president has imposed an artificial, TV ratings-driven deadline on such a consequential choice". "Judge Kavanaugh clearly understands the proper role of a judge is to interpret the law as it is written and apply the law impartially".

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

"I applaud President Trump for his nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court", Ivey said in a statement.

Kethledge, a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, is a former Kennedy clerk and a former in-house lawyer at Ford Motor Co.

Barrett is among four federal judges on Trump's list of finalists that includes Brett Kavanaugh, Raymond Kethledge and Thomas Hardiman.

Kavanaugh denied any involvement in crafting legal policy allowing for harsh interrogation tactics during the Senate's consideration of his nomination to the D.C. Circuit in 2005 and 2006. But his supporters have cited his experience and wide range of legal opinions. Regardless of his choice, it's likely that the closely divided Senate will be holding a momentous confirmation vote just weeks before the midterm election. Senate Republicans hold only a 51-49 majority, leaving them hardly any margin if Democrats hold the line.

A judicial activist advising U.S. President Donald Trump on potential nominees to the Supreme Court signaled Sunday that two of the candidates would be a tougher sell to conservatives.

Some Republican senators had favored other options. Liberal advocacy groups are challenging Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to keep the Democrats united.

Back then, Trump's decision to summon both men to Washington, and his primetime TV special reveal seemed to shock some TV news talking heads and Supreme Court scholars not familiar with reality-TV tropes.

Mother Jones, June 2018 - This Mother Jones profile casts Kavanaugh as a consummate insider of the D.C. conservative establishment who "frequently inserted himself into high-profile political battles".

Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia will be prime targets.

Before a full vote on the chamber floor, the prospective justice will be grilled by the Senate Judiciary Committee in hearings that can go on for days.

That increases the focus on two Republicans - Sen. Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, to oppose any nominee who threatens Roe v. Wade. Some Republicans, as well as the Democrats, view Kavanaugh's previous rulings on abortion and health care cases as way too conservative, claiming that they violate the rights of many people in American society. At the top of that list is abortion. A more conservative majority could be more willing to uphold state restrictions on abortion, if not overturn the 45-year-old landmark Roe v. Wade decision that established a woman's constitutional right to abortion.