Trump Nominates Kavanaugh to Take Kennedy’s Place on High Court

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Trump Nominates Kavanaugh to Take Kennedy’s Place on High Court

 

All that stands between Brett M. Kavanaugh and a seat on the Supreme Court is a Senate vote. With President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Kavanaugh on Monday night, the stage is set for a showdown in the Senate over the future of the Supreme Court.

 

Judge Kavanaugh has significant experience in the legal field. He currently sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, where he has served for 12 years. Prior to that, he clerked for two federal appellate judges as well as Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. He also served in the solicitor general’s office during the George H. W. Bush Administration and was part of the independent counsel’s team investigating President Bill Clinton. He attended Yale Law School.

 

The seat to which the president nominated Kavanaugh opened when Justice Kennedy resigned effective July 31. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he wants to schedule a confirmation vote prior to the November elections.

 

Among conservatives, Kavanaugh has garnered wide praise for his experience and breadth of judicial knowledge. The D.C. Circuit upon which he currently sits is often viewed as a prime training ground for Supreme Court justices, since many of its decisions deal with the same issues that the high court often confronts. Liberals, however, have largely come out against Kavanaugh. They are concerned that his rulings will harm many liberal causes, such as abortion rights and gay marriage.

 

With the end of the filibuster over judicial nominations, Kavanaugh can be confirmed with a bare majority of Senate votes. With only a 51-seat margin in the Senate, Majority Leader McConnell cannot afford to lose many Republicans. President Trump’s prior Supreme Court nomination of Neil Gorsuch did garner some Democratic support. Given that pattern, it is likely that the Senate will vote narrowly to confirm Kavanaugh this fall.

 

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