Wednesday, 18 September, 2019

Trump picks Kavanaugh for Supreme Court

Trump picks Kavanaugh for Supreme Court Trump picks Kavanaugh for Supreme Court
Patty Aguilar | 11 July, 2018, 01:48

His Supreme Court shortlist is said to include conservative Appeals Court Judges Amy Coney Barrett, Thomas Hardiman, Brett Kavanaugh and Raymond Kethledge.

It will be one of the most consequential decisions President Trump makes during his time in the White House, and he will announce it tonight.

But his supporters note his experience and a wide range of legal opinions.

Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) refuses to support President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee no matter who it is simply because the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank had a major influence in shaping the chief executive's list of potential selections.

Schumer and other Democrats have cited campaign statements Trump made to assert that any of the candidates Trump mulled would oppose abortion rights and the Obama-era health care law.

Republicans hold 51 seats in the Senate, though Arizona Sen. Ten Democrats from states that Trump won are up for re-election this fall and will be under tremendous pressure to back the president's nominee. Kennedy, a member of the Judiciary Committee, which will get the first chance to question the nominee, predicted a "rough, tough, down in the dirt, ear-pulling, nose-biting fight".

Trump is seeking to shift the balance of the court further to the right.

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The nomination, 12 days after the retirement of Mr Kennedy, gives Republicans their best chance in decades at securing a five-member majority (out of nine) in the highest court in the U.S. and power to shape legal battles over guns, immigration, the environment and civil rights. At the top of that list is abortion. 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. Kennedy provided a decisive vote in 2015 on an important fair housing case.

Kavanaugh, 53, had always been mentioned in Washington chatter as a potential high court choice by a Republican president because of his educational background, intellectual firepower and an unyielding commitment to a legal approach championed by conservative Supreme Court justices such as Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr.

Barrett, the only woman under consideration, has the support of Sean Hannity, the Fox News host and close Trump ally, who played golf with the president in New Jersey on Sunday.

The process is arduous, with the private meetings giving way to days of testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has 11 Republicans and 10 Democrats. He launched a career that veered into Washington politics, including work on President George W. Bush's legal team for the 2000 presidential election recount in Florida. Republicans meanwhile are lobbying the White House on behalf of their preferred candidate.

Savoring the suspense, Trump has sought to keep people guessing in the final hours, hoping to replicate his successful announcement of Justice Neil Gorsuch past year.

The high court handed Trump and his administration a series of victories in its term that ended on the day of Kennedy's retirement, including a major decision upholding the president's travel ban targeting people from several Muslim-majority countries. "And I think of the four people I have it down to three or two", The Guardian reported. I will - as he's out playing golf - I'm thinking of this person; I'm thinking of that person - but I will announce it on prime-time TV at the White House.

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