Trump's Supreme Court pick would solidify court's conservative bent, experts say

11 July, 2018, 13:45 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Kavanaugh's family was present when Trump made the announcement

A liberal Democratic group says it is leaving "no stone unturned" to get its hands on any damaging information about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh amid the upcoming contentious confirmation battle in the U.S. Senate. "Although Kavanaugh worked on the impeachment of President Clinton, he now maintains that "criminal investigations and prosecutions of the president" should be deferred while a president is in office".

"We can not let it happen", he said. "It has been decided by the Supreme Court".

Kavanaugh, an appellate court judge based in Washington D.C. with ties to the George W. Bush administration, was also a high school classmate of New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and Arizona Cardinals president Michael Bidwill at Washington's Georgetown Prep.

"Judge Kavanaugh, if he is a justice, would be the swing vote in deciding whether [Trump] can pardon himself - a get out of jail free pass - that's the accountability that would be lost if judge Kavanaugh is confirmed", he said.

It also didn't hurt that Kavanaugh emerged from his years in the White House with an expansive view on executive power and a belief that presidents should not be distracted by lawsuits or investigations while in office. "The country wants the President to be "one of us" who bears the same responsibilities of citizenship that all share".

Democrats are likely to confront Kavanaugh with those words when he sits for his confirmation hearing.

"This is an opportunity for Senators to put partisanship aside and consider his legal qualifications with the fairness, respect, and seriousness that a Supreme Court nomination ought to command", McConnell said in a statement.

"The Republicans have enough senators for a confirmation, and the Republican senators have not signaled any real appetite to say no", he said, adding that even if Kavanaugh were blocked, it's unlikely Trump's next pick would be any more palatable to Democrats.

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The Senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer, has a theory about why Donald Trump settled on Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

Pence didn't directly respond when asked if he would be disappointed if Kavanaugh does not vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 case that legalized abortion. Fox News was a close second to CBS previous year when Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch in a similar prime-time show, but that was on a winter night when many CBS viewers were probably anticipating a new episode of "NCIS". All three candidates remain in contention, but Trump has revived talk of Hardiman because he has not felt compelled, yet, to tap one of them.

When ruling on Seven-Sky v. Holder, Kavanaugh dissented from the majority opinion that the law's individual mandate - which compelled every American to have health insurance or face a fine - was constitutional.

The morning after being nominated by Trump for a lifetime seat on the nine-member conservative-majority court, Kavanaugh began making the rounds in the Senate, first visiting Republican leader Mitch McConnell and then Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, whose panel will hold confirmation hearings.

Among their targets are Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, as well as Doug Jones of Alabama, who is not up for re-election but represents a conservative state in the Deep South.

Kavanaugh, 53, was nominated to replace retiring conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy, 81.

And so did the Senate's other two most endangered Democrats, Sens.

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