President Donald Trump announced Circuit Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh is his choice to replace Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Kavanaugh currently serves as a justice on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and clerked for Kennedy early in his legal career.
“Throughout legal circles, he is considered a judges’ judge, a true thought leader among his peers,” Trump said in making the announcement from the White House. “He is a brilliant jurist with a clear and effective writing style universally regarded as one of the finest and sharpest legal minds of our time.”
Kavanaugh responded to his nomination stating, “Mr. President I’m grateful to you, and I’m humbled by your confidence in me.”
“No president has ever consulted more widely or talked with more people from more backgrounds to seek input about a Supreme Court nomination,” he observed.
Kavanaugh, 53, was appointed to his current position by George W. Bush in 2006.
“I chose Brett because of the force of his mind, the breadth of his experience and the strength of his character,” said Bush at the time.
Trump was especially impressed by Judge Kavanaugh’s Yale pedigree, tenure on the court, and body of writings, a source told The Wall Street Journal.
Trump’s nominee now faces a challenging confirmation fight in the U.S. Senate, where the Republicans only hold a slim 51- 49 majority, including Sen. John McCain of Arizona.
The senator is currently undergoing cancer treatment in his home state and is not expected to be available for the confirmation vote.
Additionally, moderate Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine both support the Roe v. Wade decision on abortion and may oppose a nominee that they believe would vote to overturn it.
The senators voted to confirm Gorsuch last year, as did Democrat Sens. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Joe Donnelly of Indiana.
The latter three are all up for re-election in November in states Trump handily carried in 2016.
The White House no doubt will be lobbying these Democrats again in hopes of winning their support.
Former Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl has been chosen by the Trump administration to shepherd Kavanaugh through the nomination process.
The Washington Examiner reported that Senate Republican leadership is hoping to have the nominee confirmed by the beginning of the next Supreme Court term on Oct. 1.
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