President Donald Trump on Monday nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS). Judge Kavanaugh, 53, serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and has authored more than 300 opinions.
“In keeping with Ronald Reagan’s example, I do not ask a potential nominee about their personal beliefs. I am only concerned whether that nominee will faithfully uphold the Constitution,” President Trump said. “I am pleased to say that I have found without a doubt, such a person.”
“It is my honor and privilege to announce that I will nominate Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court.”
Justice Kennedy announced recently he would retire from the Court, effective July 31, 2018. It gives President Trump his second nomination to the Court and conservatives a chance to tip the ideological balance for a generation.
The president nominated Justice Neil Gorsuch during his first year in office, who along with Judge Kavanaugh co-clerked for Justice Kennedy.
“The Supreme Court is entrusted with protecting the crown jewel of the United States — the Constitution,” President Trump said, thanking “Justice Kennedy for a lifetime of distinguished service.”
Of Judge Kavanaugh authored opinions in the coveted and powerful D.C. Court of Appeals, more than a dozen were upheld by the High Court as the law of the land.
“No president has ever consulted more widely or has talked with people of more backgrounds in seeking a nominee to the Supreme Court,” Judge Kavanaugh said, adding he was “deeply honored” to be nominated to fill Justice Kennedy’s seat on the Court.
“Judge Brett Kavanaugh is a superbly qualified choice with a proven commitment to conservative constitutional jurisprudence,” Club for Growth President David McIntosh said in a statement. “President Trump has demonstrated his commitment to economic conservatism and the Constitution with his nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh today, just as he did last year with his nomination of Justice Neil Gorsuch.
But not all conservatives were routing for the president to nominate Judge Kavanaugh, who authored an opinion on bulk metadata collection. Privacy advocates believe the government is violating the Fourth Amendment.
“I look forward to the upcoming hearings, reviewing the record, and meeting personally with Judge Kavanaugh, with an open mind,” libertarian-leaning Senator Rand Paul, R-Kty., said after the announcement.
The president said the nominee deserves “robust bipartisan support,” and although the Democratic Party as a whole will take unprecedented action to obstruct proceedings, he will have a chance to win over Senator Paul and others on Capitol Hill tomorrow and over the next few weeks.
“I will tell each senator that I revere the Constitution,” Judge Kavanaugh said. “I believe that an independent judiciary is the crown jewel of our constitutional republic.”
“If confirmed by the Senate, I will keep an open mind in every case, and I will always strive to preserve the Constitution of the United States and the American rule of law.”
Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Ia., the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said previously that the nominee would get a confirmation hearing within weeks.
“There is no one in America more qualified for this position, and no one more deserving,” President Trump said, calling the nominee “a judge’s judge.”