President Donald Trump announces Judge Brett Kavanaugh as SCOTUS pick

Cheryl Sanders
July 11, 2018

Issues ranging from abortion to the administrative state could be strongly influenced by the president's appointment, who will fill the seat vacated by the court's longtime swing vote, Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy.

None of the judges named is older than 53, meaning any of them could sit on the court for several decades, allowing Trump to make a lasting imprint on the nation's laws.

"Judge Kavanaugh's reasoning on religious liberty, Obamacare, and issues concerning life have proven to be of major concern", said AFA President Tim Wildmon.

Trump promised Sunday to choose an "exceptional person" for the post, but some Democrats were already signalling blanket opposition. He also wrote, "Supreme Court precedent establishes that internet service providers have a First Amendment right to exercise editorial discretion over whether and how to carry internet content".

For U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, it'll be a "no".

The vacancy on the court could not have come at a worse time for vulnerable Senate Democrats from red states. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Sen.


Once Trump names his nominee, all eyes will shift to a handful of moderate Democratic and Republican senators.

Republicans hold a slim 51-49 Senate majority, and with ailing Senator John McCain battling cancer in his home state of Arizona they now can muster only 50 votes.

Relishing the guessing game beyond the White House gates, Trump had little to say about his choice. If the decision is made permanent, it would lead to higher premiums. A new Axios/SurveyMonkey poll shows that Republicans are likely to keep control of the Senate in 2018, which would ensure that Trump's judicial nominees continue to sail through Senate confirmation. Meanwhile, Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona is battling brain cancer and has not been back to the Capitol since December. As a result, Democrats have accused Republicans of stealing a Supreme Court seat.

Trump is hoping to replicate his successful nomination of Justice Neil Gorsuch past year.

There are three Democrats who voted for Gorsuch - Sens. Joe Donnelly of IN - are "poised to lose" to their respective Republican challengers.

Senate Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin, Illinois Democrat, said the choice of the next Supreme Court justice is too important for political considerations. On Monday, Barletta said in a tweet that Casey was "blinded by partisanship" to have opposed a nominee before the pick is announced. They understand it's an historic decision. "It's about more than the next election". That does not give a lot of people a thought that we're going to have an independent Supreme Court. "But they're excellent. Every one. It goes beyond the next election".


The list and reports coming from the interviews, however, have given Trump opponents a chance to examine each of the judges on the list and develop potential attacks on the records of each.

"I hope I'm wrong but I suspect this is going to be a rough tough down in the dirt ear pulling nose biting fight", Kennedy said. "I think even the people of Alabama like to make sure they have judges that adhere to the rule of law". Raymond Kethledge is a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit who has been dubbed "Gorsuch 2.0".

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, said in a statement, "I join millions of Americans in congratulating Judge Kavanaugh for his nomination, a well-respected jurist widely regarded for his/her intellect, temperament, as well as for his/her dedication to the Constitution". McConnell said he will push for a vote on the nomination before the November midterms.

Vladeck said that none of the four judges believed to be the front-runners "have the sort of centrist features that came to characterize much, although not all, of Justice Kennedy's jurisprudence".

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who earlier in the day accused the "far left" of "scare tactics" to try to thwart the nomination, called Kavanaugh "a superb choice".

LEAHY: Well, I think the litmus test is what the president said.


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