Thursday, 18 July, 2019

Donald Trump nominates Brett Kavanaugh to US Supreme Court position

Donald Trump nominates Brett Kavanaugh to US Supreme Court position Donald Trump nominates Brett Kavanaugh to US Supreme Court position
Patty Aguilar | 10 July, 2018, 05:58

Mike Lee received a phone call Monday from President Donald Trump telling him he would not be his nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, the Deseret News has learned. Kavanaugh and Gorsuch served as law clerks to Kennedy at the same time early in their legal careers.

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 previous year during the debate on Justice Neil Gorsuch.

With Kavanaugh, Trump is replacing a swing vote on the nine-member court with a staunch conservative.

As soon as Kennedy announced his retirement plans on June 27, Democrats mobilized, arguing that anyone Trump selects would be hand-picked to help roll back abortion rights, Affordable Care Act protections, same-sex marriage, and scores of other decisions that have shaped modern America - while ruling in favor of corporations and against under-represented minorities. He also has taken an expansive view of executive power and has favoured limits on investigating the president. Eastern time during a prime-time address in the White House's East Room.

The president said: "Judge Kavanaugh has impeccable credentials, unsurpassed qualifications and a proven commitment to equal justice under the law".

Jon Kyl of Arizona to be the "Sherpa" for President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, spokesman Raj Shah announced. Trump signed Kavanaugh's nomination papers Monday evening in the White House residence.

US President Donald Trump names Brett Kavanaugh for US Supreme Court
In 2017, Kyl helped prepare former Senator and current Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his confirmation hearing. The White House said Trump has interviewed four potential picks, all of whom are federal appeals court judges.

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Kavanaugh worked in the George W Bush White House before being nominated to the DC court of appeals in 2003.

A ferocious confirmation battle with Democrats is expected as the president seeks to shift the nation's highest court further to the right. Senate Republicans hold only a 51-49 majority, leaving them hardly any margin if Democrats hold the line. Both were on Trump's list of 25 potential nominees. At the top of that list is abortion. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said the Senate will vote on the court nominee in the fall. But he had made his final decision, according to a person with knowledge of the president's thinking who was not authorized to speak publicly. Kennedy provided a decisive vote in 2015 on an important fair housing case.

With Senator John McCain battling cancer in his home state of Arizona, Republicans can now only muster 50 votes.

After leaving Congress, Kyl went to work at the law firm Covington & Burling LLP.

Trump is hoping to replicate his successful nomination of Justice Gorsuch a year ago. The president has spent the days leading up to his announcement discussing the pros and cons of various contenders with aides and allies. Kavanaugh said, "My judicial philosophy is straightforward".

"Although some may use the confirmation process as a rallying cry for advancing deeply and honestly held beliefs for many groups in our country, we earnestly ask you to rise above the passions and examine who Brett Kavanaugh is and whether his juridicial ability, extensive experience and many accomplishments in public service qualify him to the position of an Associate Justice". The liberals' effort probably will focus on moderate GOP senators, such as Maine's Susan Collins and Alaska's Lisa Murkowski, who might be wary of adding a hard-line conservative and risking decades-old precedents such as Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in 1973.

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