Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Trump nominates Brett Kavanaugh to Supreme Court

Trump nominates Brett Kavanaugh to Supreme Court

"In a nation with over 700 sitting federal judges, many of whom were appointed by Republican presidents, it is outrageous that President Trump will nominate from a list of just 25 dictated to him by the Heritage Foundation", Casey complained.

When Trump nominated Justice Neil Gorsuch in 2017, he faced an intense backlash from liberal activists and fielded a barrage of hostile questions from Democratic senators during his confirmation hearings. Judge Brett Kavanaugh is an appellate judge from Maryland who has ruled against Obamacare and abortion rights in the past. Trump made the announcement on Tuesday afternoon (NZ time).

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said opponents were using "40-year-old scare tactics" over abortion and other issues but they "will not stop us from doing the right thing".

Any of the candidates on Trump's short list would probably move the court to the right.

Trump had little to say about his choice before the announcement.

Democrats who plan to oppose Trump's nominee are focusing on two Republican moderates, Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, hoping to turn them against Trump's selection. Susan Collins said she wouldn't support a nominee hostile to the court's precedent in Roe v. Wade - and the conservative Barrett has expressed a willingness to reverse precedent she sees as wrongly decided. Hardiman, who lives in Pennsylvania, is a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit, where he served at one time with Trump's sister, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry. This isn't the first time he's helped nominees get through the Senate. "But this is really about the process and whether or not the corporate right is going to be in charge of picking the Supreme Court in a seat, in a nomination that's likely to tip the scales substantially". As an appeals court judge, Kethledge authored several notable opinions, including one that upheld the death penalty against a suspect who murdered a woman on federal land and a case in OH that questioned whether private citizens can sue the state for failing to enforce pollution controls.

But his work on President Bill Clinton's impeachment, his close ties to President George W. Bush and his ruling on President Barack Obama's health care law, which he opposed on procedural rather than broader legal grounds, have raised concerns among some conservatives. The issue was her involvement with a mostly Catholic, conservative religious group called People of Praise. The opinion, written for a three-judge panel, was eventually overturned by the full court.

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 supposedly favoring Kavanaugh because of those views, per CNN.

Republicans occupy 51 Senate seats. And that is a big if. Other Democrats who represent heavily Republican states will also be under pressure to support the nominee. I'm open to voting no. Doug Jones, D-Ala., said in a Sunday interview on CNN's State of the Union.

Later in the week, the president also suggested that of the four reported shortlisted candidates, he had preferences, telling reporters: "I think I have it down to four people".

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