GOP ex-Sen. Jon Kyl will be the 'sherpa' for SCOTUS nominee

Wednesday, 11 Jul, 2018

President Donald Trump on Monday announced federal appeals court judge Brett Kavanaugh as his nominee to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on the nation's highest court.

His Supreme Court shortlist is said to include conservative Appeals Court Judges Amy Coney Barrett, Thomas Hardiman, Brett Kavanaugh and Raymond Kethledge. The court could also be called upon to render judgment on issues of personal significance to Trump and his administration including matters arising from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing Russia-related investigation and several civil lawsuits pending against Trump. The 53-year-old was born in MA, but started his career in Pittsburgh.

The president made the announcement during a primetime address shortly after 9:05 p.m. Monday.

"I've spent the last three days interviewing and thinking about Supreme Court justices".

Judge Thomas Hardiman is a USA appeals court judge that The Washington Post reports is a "Second Amendment extremist".

President Trump is expected to announce his choice for Supreme Court justice on Monday evening. Though Kennedy is a conservative, he was often a swing vote on big decisions, such as same-sex marriage, abortion and affirmative action. Liberals, meanwhile, have burned him in effigy as the unwitting mouthpiece for corporate oligarchs thanks to his majority opinion in the Citizens United case. Now, however, FRC head Tony Perkins seems somewhat less enthusiastic because of Kavanaugh's abortion ruling, a sign that he may not endorse overturning Roe v. Wade outright. He also worked for independent counsel Kenneth Starr during the Whitewater investigation of President Bill Clinton.

Later he was part of Bush's legal team working on the 2000 Florida recount, which resulted in Bush winning the presidency.

He recently voiced disagreement with a court decision allowing an undocumented teenage immigrant to get an abortion.

"I'll exercise the judicial power with modesty and restraint", Kavanaugh said at his swearing-in ceremony.

Trump had little to say about his choice before the announcement. If confirmed by the Senate.

Kavanaugh heads to Capitol Hill this week to make his case for confirmation, and he will face deep skepticism and outright opposition from most if not all Democrats.

The senators have stayed mum on whether they're planning to support Trump's nominee, saying they'll wait until after he announces to weigh in. Rand Paul of Kentucky had expressed concerns but tweeted that he looked forward to meeting with Kavanaugh "with an open mind".

Schumer and other Democratic senators have blasted Trump for having chosen Kavanaugh from a list pre-approved by rightwing outside groups, including the conservative Federalist Society.

Legal experts say his work on the D.C. Circuit bolsters his conservative credentials, but it also gives Democrats plenty of fodder on controversial topics in the looming confirmation fight such as a woman's access to abortion, gun rights, consumer protections and environmental regulations. "We must do everything we can to stop this nomination".

Senator John Cornyn, R-Texas, told CBS News' Nancy Cordes that any of the four candidates would be great justices, and he expects the eventual nominee to sail through their confirmation hearing and vote.

"Judge Kavanaugh will bring extensive experience to the Supreme Court", Ryan's statement continued, "his long career exemplifies public service and, in particular, dedication to religious liberty". "But this is really about the process and whether or not the corporate right is going to be in charge of picking the Supreme Court in a seat, in a nomination that's likely to tip the scales substantially".

Republicans may have a narrower margin for error than they did when the Senate confirmed Trump's first Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, by a vote of 54-45 in April 2017.