Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Who is Brett Kavanaugh, Trump's Supreme Court Nominee?

Who is Brett Kavanaugh, Trump's Supreme Court Nominee?

"I've spent the last three days interviewing and thinking about Supreme Court justices". Dick Durbin once called the "Forrest Gump of Republican politics", later served as partner at the law firm Kirkland & Ellis in Washington, DC, and served as senior associate counsel, associate counsel, assistant to the president, and staff secretary to former President George W. Bush.

Kavanaugh ruled in one case involving abortion past year and is considered a likely opponent of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that legalized abortion nationwide.

While conservative on firearms and election financing, Kennedy showed a more progressive streak on issues such as abortion and affirmative action.

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Thank you so much for being with us, Senator Leahy.

At 9 p.m., President Donald Trump is expected to announce his nominee for the Supreme Court.

"As my friend Lindsey Graham said yesterday, he said it's as if we have four winning lottery tickets, each could be a great Supreme Court justice in their own right".

Joe Donnelly - whose confirmation vote might help sway both his and Kavanaugh's futures - was not tipping his hand after Trump's nomination announcement Monday night. Senate Republicans hold only a 51-49 majority, leaving them hardly any margin if Democrats hold the line. John McCain remains at home in Arizona while battling cancer during the confirmation vote.

"I am pleased to say I have found without doubt such a person", Trump said as he announced Kavanaugh's nomination at the White House Monday evening. "And at all times, I'll work to maintain the absolute independence of the judiciary, which in my judgment is the crown jewel of our constitutional democracy". At Take Care, David Gans writes that the "legacy of this Amendment, its objective, and its continuing, urgent relevance show exactly how high the stakes for this nominee and the future of the Supreme Court". Kavanaugh then clerked for appellate judges Walter Stapleton and Alex Kozinski before clerking for Justice Kennedy - whose seat Kavanaugh would take if confirmed. His mother, Martha, became a Maryland state judge a quarter-century ago. Critics believe Kavanaugh didn't push back enough in the case, Garza v. Hargan, while supporters say it illustrates his instinct towards compromise while standing firm on conservative values. While certainly conservative, Judge Kavanaugh is well within the mainstream of American legal thought and theory. While waiting, he's penned he has written almost 300 opinions and sent 41 of his law clerks to similar posts at the high court - far more than any of the other leading candidates for the nomination.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, who once held a court seat open for almost a year before the 2016 election to keep former President Barack Obama from filling it, lambasted Democrats for announcing their opposition before Trump had decided on a nominee.

LEAHY: No. No. They've been OK'd by conservative groups, by lobbying groups who have said, here are the people you are allowed to pick from.

Kennedy announced his retirement two weeks ago, citing a desire to spend more time with his family.

Lee wouldn't discuss details of the conversation other than to confirm he wasn't Trump's choice but he attended the president's prime-time announcement of his pick.

"There is no one in America who is more qualified for this position and no one who is more deserving", Trump said of his nominee".

While activists and progressive groups are targeting moderate Republican senators who support abortion rights like Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, urging them to reject any Trump nominee who is hostile to Roe v. Wade, a handful of Democrats will be key in deciding whether the president gets his pick confirmed to the high court, because of the razor-thin partisan divide in the Senate.

The nomination is Trump's second to the nation's highest court, a rare presidential privilege that could seal a key part of Trump's legacy less than two years into his first term.

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