President Donald Trump announced on Monday night that he had nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, replacing Justice Anthony Kennedy, who announced his resignation in late June.
In a statement from the White House, Trump described Kavanaugh as “a judge’s judge, a brilliant jurist” and “one of the sharpest, brightest legal minds of our time.”
Kavanaugh, 53, presently serves as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. A Yale Law School graduate, he previously served in both Bush administrations. He also worked on independent counsel Ken Starr’s investigation of President Bill Clinton, INN reported.
Kavanaugh, a former Kennedy clerk, earned both his B.A. and his J.D. from Yale, and would become the fourth New Haven grad on the Court.
He was initially nominated to the D.C. Circuit by President George W. Bush in 2003, although Senate Democrats stalled the nomination for three years so that Kavanaugh did not take his seat until 2006.
Kavanaugh first rose to prominence during the Clinton administration, when he wrote much of the Starr Report and led the investigation into the death of Vince Foster. This work led to an appointment in the Bush White House as senior associate counsel and assistant to the president, The Free Beacon chronicled
American Conservative Union president Matt Schlapp wrote that Kavanaugh, with whom Schlapp worked in the Bush administration, was “someone you can trust and someone you want assistance from when decisions need to be made and the issues are complicated.”
Some social conservatives preferred Judge Amy Coney Barrett of the Seventh Circuit as a guaranteed fifth vote for social issues like overturning Roe v Wade, however Sarah Pitlyk, a former clerk for Kavanaugh, argued in National Review that these concerns were misplaced, pointing to a series of opinions that social conservatives could get on board with, The Free Beacon explained.
During his confirmation hearing in 2006 for the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, Kavanaugh stated that he considered Roe v. Wade binding under the principle of and would seek to uphold the ruling of the higher court.
In May 2006, Kavanaugh stated he “would follow Roe v. Wade faithfully and fully” and that the issue of the legality of abortion has already “been decided by the Supreme Court” on CSPAN. However he has ruled several times in favor of restricting abortion in certain instances and is a solid conservative on this issue
One of the cases that display his pro-life tendencies includes a case that pitted the Trump administration against an illegal immigrant teenage mother seeking to abort her child while in government custody. The majority’s ruling was subsequently vacated by the Supreme Court, but not before the abortion had already been carried out, after the DC circuit court blocked the Trump administration from stopping the abortion. Kavanaugh argued that his colleagues’ ruling had created “a new right for unlawful immigrant minors in U.S. government detention to obtain immediate abortion on demand.”
In another instance (Priests for Life v.HHS,) saw Kavanaugh siding with a group of priests resisting Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate.
After the announcement of his nomination to the Supreme Court, Judge Brett Kavanaugh stated, “A judge must be independent and must interpret the law, not make the law. A judge must interpret statutes as written, and a judge must interpret the Constitution as written, informed by history and tradition and precedent, The framers established that the Constitution is designed to secure the blessings of liberty. Justice Kennedy devoted his career to securing liberty. I am deeply honored to be nominated to fill his seat on the Supreme Court”.
A statement from the White House said that Kavanaugh nomination “comes after a selection process marked by an historic degree of transparency, including the President’s public disclosure of a list of 25 highly qualified potential nominees to the Supreme Court.”
“Judge Kavanaugh has earned a reputation as a brilliant jurist with impeccable legal credentials, and he is universally respected for his intellect, as well as his ability to persuade and build consensus,” said the statement.
Senate Democrats such as Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), and Joe Donnelly (Ind.)—all of whom voted for Gorsuch and all of whom are facing tough reelection fights in states Trump won in 2016—may break from their caucus and back Kavanaugh.
The left plans intensified and possible violent protests. Since Trump made the announcement Democrats such as Chuck Schumer declared that Judge Brett Kavanaugh will overturn Roe V Wade and went on morning television with his rallying cry.
Schumer said that by picking Kavanaugh, Trump is delivering on his pledge to “punish” women for their choices.
He said he will fight the nomination “with everything I have” and is urging people to make their voices heard, an indirect reference to voicing their objections to senators.
Schumer said if Kavanaugh is confirmed, “women’s reproductive rights would be in the hands of five men on the Supreme Court.”
At least seven people were arrested for civil disobedience Monday night in Manhattan during protests right after the announcement was made by Trump. Those arrested sat down in the middle of busy Fifth Avenue and blocked traffic in front of Trump Tower. Many at the rally, organized by the National Action Network, said that Trump’s nominee will set the country back decades. Those arrested included City Councilmember Jumaane Williams, PIX11 reported.
A Fox News reporter, who was scheduled to broadcast outside the steps of the Supreme Court, cancelled the event when she felt endangered by the protestors.
ABC News Tweeted hours before the Trump made his pick that the new supreme court pick was “controversial”, the media was pushing a strong narrative of a “radical right wing judge” even before an the president made his choice.
By: Jared Evan