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President Donald Trump's Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh will have a tough time getting past the confirmation process because of his decisions on Obamacare, religious liberties, and his past comments questioning whether a sitting president can be criminally indicted. He is among the best and brightest jurists on the appellate courts with a reputation of being fair and impartial in his decisions. "A judge must interpret statutes as written", he said.
"By publishing a short list, and sticking to traditional conservative justices, he allayed many fears about who he might appoint to the Court". Susan Collins, R-Maine, have said they are undecided on the president's pick and will await a review.
While certainly conservative, Judge Kavanaugh is well within the mainstream of American legal thought and theory.
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According to the DC Circuit Court website, Kavanaugh volunteers, attends church, and coaches sports in the Washington, DC area, where he was born and raised. He is well-liked in the Senate and was personally recommended by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as a good choice to support the president's nominee prep for one-on-one sessions on Capitol Hill.
Kavanaugh has never directly ruled on abortion as a judge, so it's unclear how he would decide the subject.
"I know the people in this room well; they do not stand and give applause like that very often", Trump bragged after naming his choice. "We have a track record of making sure the voices of the American people are heard in the corridors of power".
The timing of the nomination means that Kennedy's replacement could be confirmed before the start of the Supreme Court's next term on the first Monday in October. Those who promote a woman's right to choose an abortion were upset with a Kavanaugh ruling against an immigrant teenager in federal custody who sought an immediate abortion. "He takes the case before him and looks at the facts and precedents, but without imposing an overarching view of the law", Arthur Hellman, a University of Pittsburgh law professor to the Los Angeles Times.
It may not also be his last, with liberal Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg 85-years-old and Stephen Breyer turning 80 next month.
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"In keeping with President Reagan's legacy, I do not ask about a nominee's personal opinions". Some conservatives said Paul said he might oppose a Kavanaugh nomination, but Paul did not publicly say he would vote against him. He also praised Kennedy. The framers established that the Constitution is created to secure the blessings of liberty. Kennedy, a conservative, has joined with liberal justices in decisions upholding the principles of Roe.
The Democratic senator Kamala Harris of California said: "Judge Brett Kavanaugh represents a direct and fundamental threat to that promise of equality and so I will oppose his nomination to the supreme court". Thomas Michael Hardiman of the Third Circuit, is also under consideration. He laid out the legal framework supporting Clinton's impeachment for his affair with then-White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Some conservatives have questioned his commitment to social issues like abortion.
Kavanaugh has amassed a solidly conservative judicial record since 2006 on the influential US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the same court where three current justices including Chief Justice John Roberts previously served.
"He can still recite the section and seat numbers of the upper deck seats his dad had at RFK (Stadium) for the Redskins", said Travis Lenkner, a former Kavanaugh law clerk, of the Washington Redksins' home field until 1997.
But his supporters note his experience and a wide range of legal opinions. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1987, and received his Juris Doctor from Yale Law School in 1990.
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He is the father of two girls and coaches their basketball teams.