Friday, 21 September, 2018

Trump picks Kavanaugh for court, setting up fight with Dems

Leah Millis  Reuters Leah Millis Reuters
Faye Gross | 10 July, 2018, 08:10

Trump said on Sunday he not made up his mind yet but expected to do so by noon on Monday, ahead of his announcement at 9 p.m.

Kavanaugh, Trump's second nominee to the nation's highest court, is likely to face a tough confirmation battle as the president seeks to cement a conservative majority.

Kavanaugh, who first appeared on Trump's roster of Federalist Society-approved potential Supreme Court nominees a year ago, began his remarks by applauding Trump's "appreciation for the vital role of the American judiciary".

A judge more conservative than Kennedy could vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 court decision establishing a woman's right to abortion.

Two Republican senators, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of ME, are pro-abortion and have said they would vote against a candidate who would overturn Roe v. Wade.

"Democrats in the Senate should use every tool at their disposal to stop Judge Kavanaugh from being confirmed".

President Donald Trump has nominated Brett Kavanaugh to join the US Supreme Court, setting the stage for a dramatic confirmation battle over a stalwart conservative who could shape the direction of the court for decades to come. When I was 10, she went to law school and became a prosecutor.

A senior White House official says Trump called Kavanaugh on Sunday evening to inform him that he was his choice to be nominated to the Supreme Court.

He is the father of two girls and coaches their basketball teams.

He also worked for Kenneth Starr, the independent counsel who investigated then president Bill Clinton but in 2009 he was reported as saying that presidents should be free from civil lawsuits, criminal prosecutions and investigations while in office. Their first date was the night before the September 11 attacks, he said.

Trump announced his pick on prime-time television, calling Kavanaugh "a judge's judge" with a "proven commitment to equal justice under the law". The president's interview with her was only about 30 minutes - shorter than with the others.

White House Principal Press Secretary, Raj Shah, tweeted out the following statement regarding Casey's opposition.

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"My most vivid memory of Brett was his thoughtful approach to an issue, not impulsive, not off the cuff. But we're very close to making a decision".

Kavanaugh has been dubbed a Washington insider, having worked in both Bush administrations, and is now a judge on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia circuit. Ten Democrats from states that Trump won are up for re-election this fall and will be under tremendous pressure to back the president's nominee.

Kavanaugh, age 53, like all of his prospective Supreme colleagues, is a product of the Ivy League.

Current justices range in age from Elena Kagan, 58, to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 85.

Post-election analysis in 2016 revealed that the issue of replacing the late Justice Antonin Scalia was the deciding factor in voting for Trump for millions of Americans.

The US Supreme Court is the ultimate arbiter on contentious laws and disputes between states and the federal government.

His former clerks recall Kavanaugh as a demanding boss, but one interested in their personal lives. "He made a point at the start of my clerkship to invite my parents down for a visit and that made such an impression on my dad", Mascott said.

A Catholic who is active in the community, Kavanaugh serves meals at the St. Maria's Meals program at Catholic Charities in D.C. and he has tutored at the Washington Jesuit Academy, where he serves on the Board of Directors.

An avid runner, Kavanaugh lists his two Boston Marathon finishes on his court website biography: 3:59:45 in 2010 and 4:08:36 in 2015.

Sources have told NPR that those four finalists are all US appeals court judges; Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, Raymond Kethledge and Thomas Hardiman. The distraction "would ill serve the public interest, especially in times of financial or national security crisis", Kavanaugh wrote. He regularly teaches law school classes.

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.

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