Trump nominates Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court

Pauline Gross
July 10, 2018

Collins did not say Monday if she would support Kavanaugh, although she said he had "impressive credentials and extensive experience".

This year, Kavanaugh authored a dissent to a D.C. Circuit decision to allow a teenaged immigrant to get an abortion, writing that it "is ultimately based on a new constitutional principle as novel as it is wrong: a new right for unlawful immigrant minors in U.S. Government detention to obtain immediate abortion on demand, thereby barring any Government efforts to expeditiously transfer the minors to their immigration sponsors before they make that momentous life decision".

A Yale Law graduate, Kavanaugh started his career as an associate counsel with special prosecutor Kenneth Starr, where he helped draft the report that recommended Clinton should be impeached for having an extramarital affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. But it was mostly from advocates of other candidates (especially the provocative right-wing alternative Amy Coney Barrett), and focused on Kavanaugh decisions that merely showed he was cautious about direct challenges to abortion rights and the Affordable Care Act. White House aides said they have prepared "rollout packages" for the four finalists. All three voted to confirm Gorsuch and are up for re-election in states that Trump won handily. Senate Republicans hold only a 51-49 majority, leaving them hardly any margin if Democrats hold the line. John McCain of Arizona, is ill and may not be able to participate in the confirmation process. In fact, Trump's pick was said to have the "inside track" from the get-go, thanks to his D.C. connections.

"I'm getting very close to making a final decision".

Chuck Schumer, the Democratic minority leader in the Senate, said: "In selecting Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the supreme court, President Trump has put reproductive rights and freedoms and health care protections for millions of Americans on the judicial chopping block".

But the president has also been impressed by Kavanaugh, the most experienced judge on the list, having penned almost 300 decisions on the second-most-powerful court in the country; as well as Barrett, a devout Catholic, who has become a hero of religious conservatives after having her membership in a conservative religious organization questioned by Sen. His mother, Martha, became a Maryland state judge a quarter-century ago.

Interested in Supreme Court?

"Just as I did when Merrick Garland and Neil Gorsuch were nominated, I will evaluate Judge Kavanaugh's record, legal qualifications, judicial philosophy and particularly, his views on healthcare", Sen. "It's been decided by the Supreme Court".

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Trump's post came on the eve of his second lifetime appointment to the nine-member Supreme Court, one of the more powerful perks of office. They sought someone with a long track record that included most of the controversial issues likely to come before the high court.

And it worked. Following the death of Antonin Scalia and the blocked nomination of Merrick Garland, the victor of 2016's presidential election was going to have the power to shift the ideological makeup of the court - the possibility of which played a significant role in drawing people to the polls.

CBS has learned he's narrowed the list of contenders to four appeals court judges.

Any of the candidates on Trump's short list would probably move the court to the right.

But she is also seen as potentially hard to confirm, given the narrowness of the Senate GOP majority, the previous controversy in her confirmation process when she was nominated for the federal bench a year ago, her lack of a deep judicial record of opinions and her openness to overturning Roe v. Wade.

Kavanaugh, 53, is an ideological conservative who is expected to push the court to the right on a number of issues including business regulation and national security.

Other reports by GizPress

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