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Monday
Jul092018

President Nominates Kavanaugh to Replace Kennedy

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Monday nominated Brett Kavanaugh, a federal appeals court judge in Washington, to succeed Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court.

Trump made the announcement shortly after 9 p.m. ET at the White House, where he was joined by Kavanaugh and his family. NBC News broke the story shortly before the president made his choice public.

"What matters is not a judge's personal views, but whether they can set aside those views to do what the law and the Constitution require," Trump said in the prime-time announcement from the East Room. "I am pleased to say I have found, without doubt, such a person."

"It is my my honor to announce that I will nominate that I will nominate Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court," Trump added.

Kavanaugh then emerged, along with his wife, Ashley, and two young daughters.

Trump praised his nominee as a judge with "impeccable credentials" and said he is "considered a judge’s judge."

Kavanaugh, in his remarks following Trump, thanked the president.

"Throughout this process, I have witness firsthand your appreciation for the vital role of the American judiciary," he told Trump. "No president has ever consulted more widely or talked with more people from more backgrounds to seek input about a Supreme Court nomination."

"I am grateful to you and I am humbled by your confidence in me," he said.

Kavanaugh serves on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which often rules on major challenges to federal laws and policies. If confirmed, he would make the Supreme Court solidly conservative, joining Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch in a potential five-vote majority.

He would be sure to join the conservatives more often than Kennedy, who sometimes voted with the court's liberals in cases raising hot-button social issues.

Reaction from Capitol Hill was swift, with many Democrats — including potential 2020 contenders Sens. Kamala Harris of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey — announcing their intention to vote against Kavanaugh within minutes of Trump’s announcement.

"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," Harris said.

Booker, citing the integrity of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 race, as well as abortion rights, added, "With all that's at stake, I will fight to stop this nomination every step of the way."

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