Trump nominates Brett Kavanaugh to Supreme Court

Leah Millis  Reuters

Leah Millis Reuters

President Donald Trump on Monday announced Brett Kavanaugh as his nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, picking a conservative federal appeals court judge who survived a previous tough Senate confirmation battle and helped investigate Democratic former President Bill Clinton in the 1990s.

Kethledge, a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, is a former Kennedy clerk and a former in-house lawyer at Ford Motor Co.

In picking the 53-year-old Kavanaugh, Trump aimed to entrench conservative control of the court for years to come with his second lifetime appointment to the nation's highest judicial body in his first 18 months as president. 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. "I'll interpret the law as written". Barry served alongside Hardiman as a federal appeals judge on the 3rd Circuit before stepping down previous year.

The president said: "Judge Kavanaugh has impeccable credentials, unsurpassed qualifications and a proven commitment to equal justice under the law". "When Justice Kennedy announced his retirement, I urged the President to appoint a consensus nominee who could earn broad bipartisan support in the Senate and the confidence of the American people".

The candidates on Trump's shortlist are all steadfast conservatives.

Then McConnell and other Republicans reminded Trump of another political goal: the confirmation path of least resistance. Senate Republicans hold only a 51-49 majority, leaving them hardly any margin if Democrats hold the line.

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Republicans hold a slim 51-49 majority in the Senate, though with ailing Senator John McCain battling cancer in his home state of Arizona they now can muster only 50 votes.

Liberal horror and conservative delight about the implications of the pick have crystalized into a debate about the newly constituted court's potential to overturn Roe v Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that upheld a legal right to an abortion.

For starters, Judicial Crisis Network is launching a $1.4 million ad buy on national cable and digital, with a particular focus on four states: Alabama, Indiana, North Dakota and West Virginia.

"No president has ever consulted more widely, or talked with more people from more backgrounds to seek input abut a Supreme Court nomination". Politico reported Monday that Hardiman is one of the president's top candidates to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is retiring at the end of July.

Continuing from the podium Monday evening, Kavanaugh said that he was "deeply honored" to be nominated to serve as Kennedy's replacement - Kavanaugh served as a clerk for Kennedy in the past.

This story is breaking and will be updated. She said the Senate "should confirm his nomination without delay".

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White House sources and those involved with the decision-making process have cautioned that only Trump knows whom he will pick, and he will be the one to announce it tonight - in true reality show fashion.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has promised a vote on the nomination before the November midterms, ensuring the outcome will be an issue before voters. "There is no question in my mind regarding Brett for the Supreme Court".

Hatch said he expects a fight with the Democrats over the nomination will be "vicious". The gambit paid off for the GOP when Trump was elected. But they, too, are facing pressure to back Trump's second high court pick.

"Bob Casey's opposition to President Trump's nominee before he or she has even been named shows he has given up any pretense of being a moderate voice", said NRSC Spokesman Bob Salera in an emailed release.

MARTIN: Well, let me ask you, Senator - you say you're going to wait to see who the president taps.

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