Trump picks Brett Kavanaugh for Supreme Court

Trump picks Brett Kavanaugh for Supreme Court

"What the administration is seeking is to transform the face of the entire federal judiciary", said Nan Aron, president of Alliance for Justice, a liberal group that tracks court issues.

Now, he is President Donald Trump's nominee to become a Supreme Court justice.

"Other than matters of war and peace, this is the most important decision a president can make", Trump said, speaking directly to the American people in a prime time address.

"I'm very close to making a final decision. They're excellent. Every one you can't go wrong".

Trump had narrowed down his choice to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy to federal appeals judges Kavanaugh, Raymond Kethledge, Amy Coney Barrett and Thomas Hardiman. At the top of that list is abortion.

But that doesn't mean Hardiman is out of the mix.

In picking the 53-year-old Kavanaugh, Trump aimed to entrench conservative control of the court for years to come with his second lifetime appointment to the nation's highest judicial body in his first 18 months as president. "So, he would be the easy pick". Dick Durbin once called the "Forrest Gump of Republican politics", later served as partner at the law firm Kirkland & Ellis in Washington, DC, and served as senior associate counsel, associate counsel, assistant to the president, and staff secretary to former President George W. Bush.

The American Family Association didn't agree with other conservative groups and is telling its supporters to contact their senators to oppose Kavanaugh's nomination. He has said the indictment of a president would not serve the public interest.

The New York Times is reporting that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has weighed in and is trying to urge Trump to pick either Kethledge or Hardiman for ease of confirmation. "With this nominee, President Trump fulfilled his campaign promise of nominating justices who are hostile to women's reproductive rights".

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A conservative majority could also have implications for Mr. Trump himself if he gets into a legal fight with Robert Mueller - who is investigating allegations of collusion between Mr. Trump's campaign team and the Russian government in the 2016 election - over the special counsel's power to subpoena the President.

Republicans outnumber Democrats, 51 to 49, in the Senate.

Key for Kavanaugh's nomination will be the decisions of a handful of moderate Republicans and moderate Democrats. Dick Durbin, the Democratic whip, Sunday on NBC's Meet The Press.

Judge Brett Kavanaugh is the embodiment of the Republican legal establishment: an Ivy Leaguer who worked for the justice he has been nominated to replace.

Collins also voted opposite most Republicans when she supported Helene White, a Bill Clinton nominee who was renominated by Bush to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2008.

"Even if they're pro-choice I think in this environment many of these people just want to blindly support President Trump, and any deviation from his agenda can be hazardous and invite a primary challenge".

Democrats are already lining up against Kavanaugh as too conservative. The president spent the days leading up to his announcement discussing the pros and cons of various contenders with aides and allies. In that hearing, California Sen. Feinstein faced backlash and criticism, especially from Catholic leaders who accused her of being anti-Catholic.

Hardiman went to Notre Dame and Georgetown. But some Democrats accused him of excessive partisanship and it took three years before the Senate eventually voted to confirm him. She has written that the case does not establish a "superprecedent". Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. McConnell said Kavanaugh believes judges should ignore their personal and political views and simply "interpret our laws as they are written".

"There is no longer a theoretical threat to Roe v. Wade", he said. Bush was among the first to respond to Kavanaugh's nomination Monday night.

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