Sunday, 22 July, 2018

Trump picks conservative judge Kavanaugh for U.S

Pres. Trump: 'Very Close' To Making Final Supreme Court Pick Trump plays up suspense over momentous Supreme Court nomination
Charlie Simmons | 10 July, 2018, 06:41

Speaking from the East Room of the White House Monday night, President Trump announced Brett Kavanaugh as his choice to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.

"I will nominate Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States supreme court", Trump said. Trump touted Kavanaugh as "a brilliant jurist" with "impeccable credentials" before inviting Kavanaugh to the podium, where the judge said he was "deeply honored" to be Trump's choice.

The 53-year-old Kavanaugh, who clerked for Kennedy and who now sits on the US court of appeals for the D.C. Circuit Court, emphasized in his remarks accepting the nomination the importance of judicial independence.

Neil Gorsuch, 50, who was appointed by Mr Trump previous year, is already one of the most conservative of the court's nine justices.

The pick is Trump's second to the nation's highest court, after he selected Justice Neil Gorsuch past year to replace Antonin Scalia, who died in 2016.

Still, some of the 1.2 percent of votes when Collins bucked a Republican president's nominee were notable. He is probably best known for his ties to President George W. Bush.

Kavanaugh, 53, now serves as a judge on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. "If confirmed by the Senate, I will keep an open mind in every case".

Still, Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, a member of the Republican leadership, said on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday that the Senate "can confirm any of the four names being mentioned".

Kennedy's departure "leaves the court in a calcified state of a hardened left and right with nobody in that middle position", says Jonathan Turley, a George Washington University constitutional law professor. Three of the judges are Asian-American men and one is a Hispanic man. Barrett is also seen as a potentially divisive nominee because of statements she's made about her Catholic faith and about abortion.

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"We are close to making a decision", said Trump.

A Yale Law graduate, Kavanaugh started his career as associate counsel with Kenneth Starr, the special prosecutor who investigated former President Bill Clinton's extramarital affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, helping draft the report recommending Clinton's impeachment.

President Barack Obama nominated U.S. Circuit Judge Merrick Garland in March 2016, but the Republican-controlled Senate did not take up the nomination. "I will conduct a careful, thorough vetting of the president's nominee to the Supreme Court, as I have done with the five previous Supreme Court justices whom I have considered". John McCain, R-Ariz, is absent getting cancer treatment, so Republicans now have just a 50-49 vote hold.

Check back in with Mediaite for coverage of Trump's decision tonight. Gorsuch restored the court's conservative majority. She also joined just five other Republicans in voting against putting Holmes on a U.S. district court in Arkansas in 2004.

Kethledge, who was a clerk for Kennedy in 1997-98, has been described as very similar ideologically to Gorsuch.

President Donald Trump with first lady Melania Trump, background right, board Air Force One at Morristown Municipal Airport, in Morristown, N.J., Sunday, July 8, 2018, en route to Washington from Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J.

In later years, Kavanaugh said that Clinton should not have had to face down an investigation during his presidency.

In a 2013 law review article, Kavanaugh wrote that after seeing firsthand the many hard duties that a president encounters, he thinks that presidents should operate free from the threat of civil suits, such as the sexual harassment suit that led to Clinton's impeachment, and that presidents should also be free from criminal investigation. Trump is expected to pressure recalcitrant Senate Democrats into supporting his nominee by holding rallies in their states.

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.

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