Trump weighs top picks for Supreme Court amid last-minute maneuvering
10 July, 2018, 11:54
Rick Santorum said Monday that President Donald Trump "bowed to the elite in Washington" by picking Judge Brett Kavanaugh as his Supreme Court nominee. If Kavanaugh were confirmed as a Supreme Court justice and the hydrofluorocarbon case came to the court, he would be recused. Before he was nominated to the D.C. circuit by George W. Bush, he was the former president's staff secretary and worked for Bush during the 2000 Florida vote recount.
Republicans and Democrats are gearing up for a combative confirmation process, as Republicans hold a slim majority in the Senate and liberals express fear that Trump's pick could join the conservatives on the court to someday overturn the Roe v. Wade decision. This will constitute the most conservative bloc of justices since the early years of the Roosevelt administration, when a hidebound group of justices struck down crucial pieces of New Deal legislation created to ease the suffering of millions during the Great Depression. He also says he is "deeply honored" to be nominated to fill the seat of Kennedy, for whom he clerked.
"There is no one in America more qualified for this position and no one more deserving", said Trump, who called Kavanaugh "one of the sharpest legal minds of our time". He also has taken an expansive view of executive power and has favoured limits on investigating the president. CNN reported no Democrat lawmakers were in the East Room when Trump made his announcement.
Trump's success in confirming conservative judges, as well as a Supreme Court justice, has cheered Republicans amid concerns about his limited policy achievements and chaotic management style. As a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Kavanaugh will have the opportunity to set valuable precedents for lower court judges all over the country to follow.
Congrats again Brett Kavanaugh. Both senators said in statements Monday night that they look forward to their in-person meetings with Kavanaugh.
The Supreme Court is established under the constitution and is the highest court in the land.
Kavanaugh not only had ties to the Bush administration but he also served under special prosecutor Kenneth Starr during the investigation into former President Bill Clinton in the 1990s. This nominee was hand-picked by anti-LGBTQ, anti-choice groups in an explicit effort to undermine equality - and the prospect of a Justice Kavanaugh threatens to erode our nation's civil rights laws, block transgender troops from bravely serving this nation and allow a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people in every aspect of American life. Such questions, should they need to be settled, will challenge the legitimacy of the Court as a guardian of the constitutional order.
Kavanaugh, of Maryland, sits on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Donnelly of IN and Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
Meanwhile, liberal groups are already calling on two moderate Republican senators - Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska - to reject the nominee.
Anti-abortion-rights activists do not disagree. Trump wants to leave an enduring mark on the court, giving it a solid five-justice conservative majority for the foreseeable future.
"Justice Kennedy's retirement makes the issue of Senate control one of the vital issues of our time", he told an audience in Fargo, N.D., last month.