Brett Kavanaugh picked for Supreme Court by President Trump

Brett Kavanaugh picked for Supreme Court by President Trump

President Donald Trump chose Brett Kavanaugh, a solidly conservative, politically connected judge, for the Supreme Court Monday night, setting up a ferocious confirmation battle with Democrats as he seeks to shift the nation's highest court ever further to the right.

Trump is scheduled to announce his nomination to replace Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy at 9 p.m. on July 9.

Kavanaugh is a former loyal aide to George W. Bush - serving as White House lawyer and staff secretary - but has received criticism from the right over a 2015 ruling on ObamaCare.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has reportedly told Trump that the judges presenting the fewest obstacles to confirmation are Raymond Kethledge of the Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and Thomas Hardiman of the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

WASHINGTON ― Within minutes of President Donald Trump announcing Brett Kavanaugh as his Supreme Court nominee, a conservative judicial advocacy group unveiled a $1.4 million ad buy aimed at pressuring four vulnerable Democrats to support him.

"First Justice Gorsuch, now Brett Kavanaugh - the President has kept his promise to nominate jurists who will faithfully protect the fundamental freedoms enshrined in our Constitution", the organization's Montana director, David Herbst, said.

While the U.S. Senate once required a 60-vote supermajority to overcome blocking tactics against Supreme Court nominees, the Republican majority changed the rules past year during the debate on Justice Neil Gorsuch.

Arguing that Kavanaugh's "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", Schumer said in a statement that he would "oppose Judge Kavanaugh's nomination with everything I have, and I hope a bipartisan majority will do the same". "Justice Kennedy devoted his career to securing liberty".

Kavanaugh stands to be President Trump's second appointment to the Supreme Court after Neil Gorsuch's appointment earlier in his term.

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While on the campaign trail, Trump said that if he gets to nominate one or two conservative justices, the court would "automatically" overturn Roe v. Wade. "And just like Justice Gorsuch, he excelled as a legal clerk for Justice Kennedy", Trump added, saying his nominee "deserves a swift confirmation and robust bipartisan support".

The confirmation process promises to be a fight, and Republicans have a narrow 51-49 majority - with nearly no room to lose votes as Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona remains absent while fighting brain cancer.

"It's a huge moment for our country", said Kevin Camps, who worries that a more conservative court would undermine environmental protections.

Kavanaugh also pledged to "keep an open mind about every case". CNN reported no Democrat lawmakers were in the East Room when Trump made his announcement.

Conservatives have taken issue with a potential Kavanaugh nomination, with some critics on the right citing his closeness to the Bush 43 administration while others believe he doesn't have a strong enough stance against abortion.

Vice President Mike Pence was quick to congratulate Judge Kavanaugh, calling him a man of "great integrity, intellect and reverence for the laws".

He will be accompanied by former Sen. "This is an opportunity for Senators to put partisanship aside and consider his legal qualifications with the fairness, respect, and seriousness that a Supreme Court nomination ought to command", McConnell said in a statement. Joe Donnelly, West Virginia Sen.

Kavanaugh now faces the confirmation process.

Republican Senator Susan Collins of ME has said she couldn't support a nominee that doesn't respect legal precedent and would overturn the "settled law" of Roe V. Wade.

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