Trump Nominates Kavanaugh to Supreme Court

Leah Millis  Reuters

Progressive groups raised flags about the pick, saying Kavanaugh's record shows he would be a threat to reproductive rights and separation of church and state, while an Orthodox group said it was happy about his record on religious liberty.

The high court handed Trump and his administration a series of victories in its term that ended on the day of Kennedy's retirement, including a major decision upholding the president's travel ban targeting people from several Muslim-majority countries.

"From what I know at this point, it appears President Trump has made an excellent choice in nominating Brett Kavanaugh", Aderholt, R-Haleyville, said in a statement.

Trump even kept his decision from lawmakers until just before his 9 p.m. announcement Monday, informing senators of his decision during a reception in the State Dining Room before his prime time address. "Judge Kavanaugh has the qualifications that make him immensely qualified to take a seat on the highest court in the land". But his supporters have cited his experience and wide range of legal opinions.

Should the Democratic bloc hold and either Republican moderate defect, the GOP will not be able to confirm Kavanaugh before the midterm elections in November. Corker took a harder line.

" But Rep. Andy Harris, a Republican, called Kavanaugh "a fine choice" to fill the Supreme Court vacancy, and in a Tweet expressed hope that he would be confirmed by the Senate "without delay".

"To be a good umpire and a good judge, don't be a jerk", Kavanaugh said in a speech three years ago.

Democrats and liberal advocacy groups quickly lined up in opposition. And that will put some senators in a tough position as Democrats move to make Kavanaugh's nomination specifically about abortion rights. Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Doug Jones of Alabama, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Dianne Feinstein of California. A majority of 51 votes is needed for a confirmation.

That increases the focus on two Republicans - Sen.

The nominee's fate may rest with two Republican senators who back abortion rights, Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

The Democrats are now pressuring Republicans who support access to abortion services to oppose the nomination.

At the top of that list is abortion.

As how Kavanaugh would rule on the highest court, perhaps the most encouraging evidence comes from a speech he delivered a year ago to the American Enterprise Institute on the legal philosophy of the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist, whom he called "my first judicial hero". Since 2006, he has been a judge on the federal appeals court in Washington. Kavanaugh worked in the Bush White House as an associate counsel, Staff Secretary and Assistant to the President. He has also taught at Yale Law School-from which he graduated-as well as Harvard and Georgetown.

"The law as it existed was itself the problem, particularly the extent to which it allowed civil suits against presidents to proceed while the President is in office", Kavanaugh wrote in a 2009 Minnesota Law Review article, reflecting back on the Clinton investigation.

That view has particular relevance as special counsel Robert Mueller is looking into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign played any role in a foreign interference plot. He dissented from a ruling that let an undocumented immigrant teenager get an abortion while in federal custody.

It also informed many of his rulings on executive power, where he largely has backed the president's authority to hire and fire officials at government agencies and offered his support to the White House and military commission process amid challenges from detainees.

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