Friday, 21 September, 2018


Brett Kavanaugh picked for Supreme Court by President Trump

Bennie Garza | 10 July, 2018, 05:56

If confirmed, Kavanaugh would replace a frequent swing vote on the bench, retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, who often sided with his liberal colleagues on issues such as abortion, affirmative action and LGBT rights.

This is President Trump speaking to reporters Sunday.

Barrett - a longtime Notre Dame Law School professor who became a federal judge last fall - excited social conservatives since she was questioned about her Roman Catholic faith in her nomination hearings previous year, but her brief time on the bench has raised questions about her experience.

Hardiman has a personal connection to the president, having served with Trump's sister on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia.

Trump announced his pick on prime-time television, calling Kavanaugh "a judge's judge" with a "proven commitment to equal justice under the law". "A judge must interpret the law, not make the law", Kavanaugh said.

"Throughout legal circles he's considered a judge's judge, a true thought leader among his peers", Trump, who named conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch to the court a year ago, told an applauding audience in the White House East Room.

Kavanaugh worked for Kenneth Starr, the independent counsel whose investigation of Clinton helped spur an effort by congressional Republicans in 1998 and 1999 to impeach the Democratic president and remove him from office.

Sources have told NPR that those four finalists are all USA appeals court judges; Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, Raymond Kethledge and Thomas Hardiman.

The White House guest list for the Monday night announcement includes Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and another committee member, John Kennedy, R-La.

Presidents weigh all sorts of considerations in deciding on a Supreme Court nominee, often beginning with the big question: Will the choice be confirmed by the Senate? But his supporters have cited his experience and wide range of legal opinions.

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. Republicans now have a 51-49 majority - one more then it needs to confirm the nominee - but it is unlikely that Senator John McCain, who has been absent from the floor while he battles brain cancer, will return for a vote. Democratic senators running for re-election in states Trump carried in 2016 will face pressure to back his nominee.

Republican Sen. John Neely Kennedy of Louisiana said he was bracing for a tough confirmation battle as Democrats focus on abortion. If it takes some work to get a great nominee through, let's get that nominee through.

A confirmation for Judge Kavanaugh would mean "women's reproductive rights would be in the hands of five men on the Supreme Court", he added. The nomination is poised to cement the Supreme Court's conservative majority, vastly reshaping the court for decades to come. At the top of that list is abortion. That decision was later overturned.

Kavanaugh says he will begin meeting with members of the Senate on Tuesday.

In his conversations over the weekend, Trump expressed renewed interest in Hardiman _ the runner-up when Trump nominated Gorsuch, said two people with knowledge of his thinking who were not authorized to speak publicly.

Kennedy's replacement also could be more willing to allow states to carry out executions and could support undoing earlier court holdings in the areas of racial discrimination in housing and the workplace.

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