President Donald Trump has announced that his nominee for the Supreme Court is Judge Brett Kavanaugh, a federal appeals court judge in Washington and a Catholic who once clerked for retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.
A favourite of the Republican legal establishment in Washington, Kavanaugh, 53, is a former law clerk for retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.
McConnell warned Trump earlier that Kavanaugh could be more hard to confirm given his long history and paper trail, The New York Times reported over the weekend, and sources in both parties have said it could be hard to move the nomination quickly.
"It moves us potentially closer to a more traditional type of nominee who gets consensus support", Super said.
Kavanaugh dissented from his court's 2011 conclusion that Obamacare, a law detested by conservatives, did not violate the U.S. Constitution, asserting that it was premature to decide the case's merits.
Kavanaugh, 53, is a Yale Law School graduate who now serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, where he has authored more than 280 opinions.
He is also a robust supporter of the executive power of the presidency.
Judge Kavanaugh also served as a Counsel for the Office of Independent Counsel under Ken Starr and as a Partner at Kirkland & Ellis, LLP. A judge must interpret statutes as written.
Those names played a crucial role in winning the votes of evangelical conservatives, who might have doubted Trump's unconventional credentials but deeply wanted a Supreme Court justice who would oppose abortion rights. During his presidential campaign, Trump named several potential Supreme Court nominees created to fit the mold of Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in 2016.
Trump unveiled his pick showbiz style, in a suspense-filled prime-time televised announcement Monday evening.
Top contenders had included federal appeals judges Raymond Kethledge, Amy Coney Barrett and Thomas Hardiman.
With Democrats determined to vigorously oppose Trump's choice, the Senate confirmation battle is expected to dominate the months leading up to November's midterm elections.
Republicans hold a slim 51-49 Senate majority, and with ailing Senator John McCain battling cancer in his home state of Arizona they now can muster only 50 votes. "We have to take back the Senate so Democrats have approval over Trump's nominees".
"When the political winds shift, Congress never leaves policy issues alone", said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has served as the legislative architect of Trump's remaking of the courts. Rand Paul of Kentucky had expressed concerns but tweeted that he looked forward to meeting with Kavanaugh "with an open mind". Immediately, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY announced his opposition to Kavanaugh and encouraged other Democrats to vote with him. He said it was clear that many Democrats "didn't care who the nominee was at all".
Among their targets are Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, as well as Doug Jones of Alabama, who is not up for re-election but represents a conservative state in the Deep South. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, which will determine whether to recommend him to the full Senate.
Jenny Pizer of Lambda Legal was more blunt, saying Kavanaugh will "yank the court sharply to the extreme right".
Democrats have turned their attention to pressuring two Republicans, Sens.
Trump said in the wake of Kennedy's retirement that he would not be asking potential justices about Roe v. Wade. The two have supported access to abortion services, and activists have already begun sending wire coat hangers, as a symbol of an era when abortion was illegal, to Collins' office. At the top of that list is abortion.
"If confirmed, five conservative men could annihilate the reproductive rights of millions of American women". He didn't mention that Kennedy had, during his time on the bench, become a reliable swing vote in favor of equal rights for LGBT people in four landmark cases.
Like the other eight justices on the court, Kavanaugh has an Ivy League law degree, spending his undergraduate and law school years at Yale.
His biography on the court website notes that he is a regular lector at his church, the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Washington. He also was a key aide to Kenneth Starr during Starr's investigation of President Bill Clinton, worked on behalf of George W. Bush's campaign during the election recount in 2000 and served in the Bush White House.
The confirmation marathon is expected to drag on for months, and no date has yet been set for hearings.
Chuck Schumer, the Senate's Democratic leader, said his party's lawmakers did indeed care who the nominee was - and what his views were on such thorny issues as abortion and Trump himself.
That view has assumed fresh relevance, with Trump facing several civil lawsuits as well as a Russia-related criminal investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
He recently ruled to stop a teenager in an immigrant detention centre from obtaining an abortion, claiming the decision would give immigrant minors a right to "immediate abortion on demand", but he urged the government to transfer her to private custody so she could do "as she wished".
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The declaration was unusual given the topic being discussed was whether the President would support a Hard Brexit for the UK. A giant baby Trump blimp is set to fly over London during the United States president's visit to the UK.
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