Trump taps Brett Kavanaugh for Supreme Court post

Trump hails federal appeals judge as a ‘true thought leader among his peers’ as rocky Senate confirmation looms
WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump on Monday tapped federal appeals judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace outgoing Justice Anthony Kennedy, ending days of speculation over who he would choose as his top court pick.
Trump said Kavanaugh has “impeccable credentials, unsurpassed qualifications and a proven commitment to equal justice under the law” while announcing his decision in televised remarks broadcast from the White House.
“Throughout legal circles, he is considered a judge’s judge, a true thought leader among his peers; he is a brilliant jurist with a clear and effective writing style, universally regarded as one of the brightest and sharpest legal minds of our time,” Trump said.
Kennedy, who at 81 occupied a pivotal spot on the Supreme Court, often wielded the swing vote in major court cases spanning the past three decades. His decision to step down gave Trump his second opportunity to name a justice to the top court and critically shape its ideological bent.
Kavanaugh, 53, has a proven track record of conservative rulings that would place him squarely to the ideological right and by some measures would see him vying for the most conservative spot on the bench alongside Justice Clarence Thomas, the court’s sole black justice.
If confirmed, Kavanaugh would firmly tilt the nine-member bench conservative. Kennedy sometimes sided with the court’s liberal judges, particularly on matters of personal liberties, most notably penning the decision that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in 2015.
Trump last year nominated Justice Neil Gorsuch to the top court following Republican obstruction of former President Barack Obama’s pick, Merrick Garland.
For the last 10 months of Obama’s presidency, Republicans refused to advance Garland’s nomination in the Senate and were forced to change chamber rules in order to advance Gorsuch through the chamber after Democrats returned the favor in the narrowly-Republican-held Senate.
Trump called on Senators to give Kavanaugh a “swift confirmation” replete with “bipartisan support”. But just minutes after his announcement, that appeared to be little more than a pipe dream.
The Senate’s ranking Democrat, Chuck Schumer, lashed out at the nomination in a statement, saying that by tapping Kavanaugh, Trump “has put reproductive rights and freedoms and healthcare protections for millions of Americans on the judicial chopping block”.
Schumer vowed to oppose the nomination “with everything I have, and I hope a bipartisan majority will do the same”.
“The stakes are simply too high for anything less,” he said.
Kennedy said his retirement will be effective July 31.
Following Kennedy’s retirement, all eyes will remain on Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who, at 85, is the oldest justice.–AA

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.