President Donald Trump is set to announce his nomination for the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, to fill the seat vacated by Justice Anthony Kennedy when he announced his retirement on the last day of the Supreme Court session on June 28th. Former President George W. Bush, who nominated him to the D.C. Circuit Court, called him a "fine husband, father, and friend - and a man of the highest integrity".
Ahead of his announcement, Trump tweeted about the stakes: "I have long heard that the most important decision a U.S. President can make is the selection of a Supreme Court Justice - Will be announced tonight at 9:00 P.M".
"As a fair legal mind, defender of the Constitution, and a judge on the D.C. Circuit, Brett Kavanaugh is prepared for a seat on the Supreme Court", Byrne posted on Facebook and Twitter.
A right-leaning Supreme Court would be one of Trump's lasting legacies and highly prized gift to his conservative base after he a year ago delivered his first Supreme Court justice, Neil Gorsuch.
A demonstrator holds a sign as protesters gather in front of the Supreme Court in Washington after President Donald Trump announced Brett Kavanaugh as his Supreme Court nominee. "No president has ever consulted more widely or talked with more people from more backgrounds to seek input about a Supreme Court nomination".
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Those names played a crucial role in winning the votes of evangelical conservatives, who might have doubted Trump's unconventional credentials but deeply wanted a Supreme Court justice who would oppose abortion rights.
On the issues, Kavanaugh seems to tick numerous boxes of interest to Trump, who included him on a list of potential Supreme Court picks published by the White House in November 2017. Republicans now hold a 51-49 majority, but Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) is battling brain cancer and is unlikely to be present for a vote.
Favored by many Republicans for his work with Solicitor General Ken Starr to impeach President Bill Clinton in the 1990s, the Yale graduate also appears to have many critics.
Analysts say that could have weighed in his favour with the White House, given that the Supreme Court may at some point be asked to rule on matters arising from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing Russia-related investigation.
"It's a huge moment for our country", said Kevin Camps, who worries that a more conservative court would undermine environmental protections.
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But that element of his record is among the reasons that some Republicans in Congress are concerned about a confirmation hearing in the Senate.
Jones was among the Democratic lawmakers invited to the announcement at the White House but did not attend.
Kavanaugh is likely to be more conservative than Justice Kennedy on a range of social issues. With Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on sick leave, a single "no" vote by a Republican could ruin the confirmation. Judge Thomas Hardiman is a US appeals court judge that The Washington Post reports is a "Second Amendment extremist". Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Donnelly of IN and Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Throughout his three decades on the court, Kennedy was often the decisive vote in close cases, particularly those involving abortion rights.
Given the current breakdown of the U.S. Senate, however, Kavanaugh's confirmation may be hard to achieve.
"Beyond the procedure, beyond the gamesmanship, it is a life-and-death important decision to be made by this court on so many issues", Senator Dick Durbin of IL, the body's No. 2 Democrat, said Sunday on NBC. Trump's nominee can win confirmation with only Republican votes, but attention will quickly shift to two moderate GOP senators, Maine's Susan Collins and Alaska's Lisa Murkowski, who are supportive of abortion rights.
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Some conservatives said Paul said he might oppose a Kavanaugh nomination, but Paul did not publicly say he would vote against him. He laid out the legal framework supporting Clinton's impeachment for his affair with then-White House intern Monica Lewinsky .