Trump told Kavanaugh of pick Sunday

Charlene Craig
July 10, 2018

A senior White House official says President Donald Trump intends to nominate influential conservative judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court as he seeks to shift the balance of the court further to the right.

While the statement also spelled the judge's name as "Cavenaugh", the obviously pre-written placeholder characters "XX" caused much mirth on social media.

"Tonight, it is my honor and privilege to announce that I will nominate Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court", Trump said in the East Room of the White House to a national television audience.

The 53-year-old Cavanaugh is now a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, and previously served under President George W. Bush's administration as staff secretary to the office of the president. After earning undergraduate and law degrees at Yale, he was a Kennedy law clerk in the early 1990s before joining independent counsel Kenneth Starr's team, where Kavanaugh co-wrote the report that served as the basis for President Bill Clinton's impeachment.

Kavanaugh spoke at a University of Minnesota Law School event in 2008 and later published an article about the event. He has been a judge on the federal appeals court in Washington since 2006.

President Trump chose Kavanaugh to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.

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Kavanaugh, who emphasized his Roman Catholic faith in his appearance with Trump at the White House on Monday, said in a dissent that the full court was embracing "a new right for unlawful immigrant minors in USA government detention to obtain immediate abortion on demand".

Kennedy was known as the swing vote on key issues, including abortion, same-sex marriage and affirmative action. His clerks routinely find themselves working at the high court, not just for Kennedy and Chief Justice John Roberts, but also for justices appointed by Democratic presidents.

With Democrats determined to vigorously oppose Trump's choice, the Senate confirmation battle is expected to dominate the months leading up to November's midterm elections.

"I think that Donald Trump said he was going to energize the base with this pick".

Unlike the last confirmation fight, when only 10 percent of Supreme Court related ads were anti-Gorsuch, liberal groups are planning large ad buys as well.

After Trump's announcement, the demonstrators amended their chants a bit. "All of our rights are at stake", Center for American Progress leader Neera Tanden said on the podium. "His own writings make clear that he would rule against reproductive rights and freedoms, and that he would welcome challenges to the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act". Senate Republicans hold only a 51-49 majority, leaving them hardly any margin if Democrats hold the line.

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"I will oppose Judge Kavanaugh's nomination with everything I have, and I hope a bipartisan majority will do the same".

Bob Salera, a campaign spokesman for Senate Republicans, said Casey has "given up any pretense of being a moderate voice" by opposing Trump's nominee sight unseen.

Gorsuch's nomination became possible because McConnell blocked Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland to fill a vacancy in 2016.

Critics allege that Kavanaugh will do his darnedest to upend the 1973 ruling Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion.

The opposition included Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who took to Twitter immediately after Trump's announcement.

Senate confirmation of Kavanaugh could create the most conservative court since the justices blocked a number of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal programs in the 1930s.

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