Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Trump picks conservative Brett Kavanaugh for Supreme Court

Trump picks conservative Brett Kavanaugh for Supreme Court

Kavanaugh will have the help of an ad campaign sponsored by conservatives to convince colleagues and citizens.

Judge Brett Kavanaugh stands on stage after he and Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito participated in the opening panel of Georgetown Law Journal's annual symposium, in Washington on November 2, 2017. That fact is not lost on Pres. Trump.

Trump has also favored Brett Kavanaugh, who has years of federal experience and is described as a mild-mannered and fair-minded by conservative groups. "She wrote that "there is little reason to think that reversals [of past decisions] would do much damage" to the court's reputation". The judge, who has authored more than 300 opinions, has also written fairly extensively about presidential authority and the separation of powers.

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

Notably, Kavanaugh was not on the first rendition of Trump's list, which started at 11 people and later expanded to 25.

Speaking after his nomination, Judge Kavanaugh said: "If confirmed I will keep an open mind in every case and will always strive to preserve the constitution of the United States and the American rule of law".

Conservatives will focus on moderate Democrats running for re-election in Trump country, such as Indiana's Joe Donnelly, North Dakota's Heidi Heitkamp and West Virginia's Joe Manchin.

Some Republicans are said to be concerned about his Bush connections.

With customary fanfare, Trump planned to unveil his choice on prime-time TV. The American Family Association has already expressed its opposition to Kavanaugh, calling on the Senate to reject him. He noted that he understood the gravity of this matter and believed Kavanaugh has "impeccable credentials" like Neil Gorsuch, last year's replacement for "the late great Justice Antonin Scalia".

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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he would fight Kavanaugh's nomination with "everything I have", highlighting issues of healthcare and women's rights. He's urging people to make their voices heard, an indirect reference to voicing their objections to senators.

If confirmed, the nominee will create a clear conservative majority on the nation's highest court for generations to come.

Barrett has been somewhat dismissive of the notion of following Supreme Court precedents, the doctrine known as stare decisis.

"In keeping with President Reagan's legacy, I do not ask about a nominee's personal opinions. A judge must be independent and must interpret the law, not make the law", he said. He also praised Kennedy. Kennedy, a 1988 appointee of President Ronald Reagan, was the most unpredictable. The framers established that the Constitution is created to secure the blessings of liberty.

Kavanaugh, 53, began his career as a clerk to Kennedy.

A White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Kavanaugh was informed on Sunday night he would be the nominee, adding that "what really tipped the scales was the consistency" the judge had shown on the appeals court. The group's spending, which is focused on Democratic senators, will probably climb over the coming months to match the $10 million spent to support Justice Neil Gorsuch's nomination previous year.

Kavanaugh is likely to be more conservative than Justice Kennedy on a range of social issues. Barry served alongside Hardiman as a federal appeals judge on the 3rd Circuit before stepping down past year. His long judicial and political record (before becoming a judge he was a long-time assistance to Special Prosecutor Ken Starr and then a legal adviser to President George W. Bush) provided ample cherry-picking opportunities for advocates of his rivals, but no smoking guns.

On average, for Supreme Court nominees who have received hearings, the hearing occurred 39 days after the nomination was formally submitted, according to the Congressional Research Service.

Born in Maryland, he is the son of two lawyers and attended Yale University and Yale Law School.

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