It’s official, folks. President Donald Trump just announced his second nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court. Meet Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who if confirmed will replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, the moderate conservative who is set to retire at the end of the month.
Kavanaugh, 53, will inevitably be at the center of a confirmation battle. While it’s likely that the Republican-controlled Senate will clear the path for Trump to remake the highest court in the land for generations to come, that doesn’t mean that most Democrats will go down without a fight. After all, it was Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who blocked the nomination of Merrick Garland — President Obama’s moderate pick to replace late Justice Antonin Scalia — for 293 days arguing that it was an election year.
Kavanaugh currently serves on the District of Columbia’s U.S. Court of Appeals. The Yale graduate worked under Kenneth Starr, the independent counsel who led the investigation against President Bill Clinton. He was one of the lead authors of the infamous Starr Report. Kavanaugh also worked in the solicitor general’s office during the George H.W. Bush administration and clerked for Justice Anthony Kennedy. He was nominated to the D.C. circuit in 2006.
Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Impeccable Record of Constitutional Conservatism https://t.co/A8saXRnbXA pic.twitter.com/bnWNG4cmnc
— National Review (@NRO) July 5, 2018
An issue that’s sure to come up during confirmation proceedings is whether Kavanaugh is in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision that allowed women to choose a legal and safe abortion.
One of Trump’s campaign promises is to appoint anti-abortion judges that could reverse the case, which could lead to abortion being illegal once again in the U.S. According to the White House, Trump didn’t discuss past cases in his meetings with potential nominees last week. But that point is moot since the president’s shortlist of potential nominees was created in conjunction with the Federalist Society, an anti-abortion and conservative legal organization.
Kavanaugh’s recent record on reproductive rights is spotty. Last fall, he was one of the judges who dissented when the Court of Appeals ruled that a 17-year-old undocumented teenager could obtain an abortion after weeks of being blocked by the Trump administration. Kavanaugh, who is Catholic, wrote in his dissent that the court was giving a new right to “unlawful immigrant minors” to obtain an …read more