Trump legal adviser talks up Kavanaugh and Barrett for Supreme Court

10 July, 2018, 06:04 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • President Donald Trump points before boarding Air Force One at Morristown Municipal Airport in Morristown N.J. Sunday

After days of frenzied lobbying and speculation, President Donald Trump decided on his second nominee to the Supreme Court on Monday, setting up a ferocious confirmation battle with Democrats as he seeks to shift the nation's highest court further to the right.

Kethledge, like Kavanaugh, is a former Kennedy clerk. Like Trump's first nominee a year ago, Justice Neil Gorsuch, Kavanaugh would be a young addition who could help remake the court for decades to come with rulings that could restrict abortion, expand gun rights and roll back key parts of Obamacare.

The President said last week that of the winnowed group of four potential nominees he is now considering, "I have it down to three or two", and he will announce his decision Monday evening.

Kavanaugh also offered a nod to the Supreme Court justice he's expected to replace, saying "the framers established that the Constitution is created to secure the blessings of liberty".

Brett Kavanaugh of Washington, D.C. Such a stance could prove relevant if the Supreme Court is ever tasked with deciding the fate of actions in Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation, such as an attempt at subpoenaing the president for an interview. "A judge must interpret the law, not make the law", Kavanaugh said. While Kavanaugh was framed as the more "establishment" conservative pick of the other candidates, various Republicans had phoned President Trump last week to voice their objections over his potential nomination, including a 2011 opinion where he declined to rule the Obamacare health insurance mandate as unconstitutional.

"No matter how intense the incoming fire, he'll stand by his legal principles", said Justin Walker, an assistant professor at the University of Louisville who clerked for Kavanaugh in 2010 and 2011.

Judge Kavanaugh, 53, has been nominated to replace long-serving conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy, who announced his retirement in June at the age of 81.

The candidates on Trump's shortlist are Brett Kavanaugh, a former adviser to George W. Bush, Raymond Kethledge, a strict interpreter of the US Constitution, Amy Coney Barrett, a devout Catholic and social conservative, and Thomas Hardiman, a staunch gun rights advocate. Republican Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri told NBC's "Meet The Press" the president should take note of that political reality in his choice.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that by picking Kavanaugh, Trump is delivering on his pledge to "punish" women for their choices.

Eighth boy is 'pulled from Thai cave'
The operation began at around 11 a.m. local time on Monday and is expected to finish for the day around 9 p.m, reported the BBC . Rescue mission chief Narongsak Osottanakorn said it had resumed, with divers re-entering the cave at 11am local time (4pm NZT).

Democrats plan a confrontation centered on abortion and healthcare, hoping to either scuttle the nomination process completely or delay it until after November in the hope of winning extra seats in the Senate to force Trump to compromise. They'll target three Democratic senators who voted for Gorsuch and who are running for re-election in states that Pres. Trump won.

"I'll exercise the judicial power with modesty and restraint", Kavanaugh said at his swearing-in ceremony.

Some Republican senators had favored other options.

That means Kavanaugh is not a stranger to tough confirmation fights. Whoever is picked will face opposition from Democrats.

The White House invited a number of senators to attend the Monday night announcement.

Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia will be prime targets.

During her nomination hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Barrett was questioned about her religious beliefs. Sen.

"Red state Democrats are going to have a very hard decision and I hope every Republican will rally behind these picks because they are all outstanding".

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