Four other justices had been named to the court by Republican presidents, the remaining three by Democrats. The president briefed Senate Republicans at the White House Monday evening shortly before making the public announcement.
While many Democratic senators swiftly issued statements rejecting Kavanaugh late Monday, Indiana's Joe Donnelly was noncommittal, pledging to "carefully review and consider the record and qualifications of Judge Brett Kavanaugh".
Sen. Susan Collins (R): "Judge Kavanaugh has impressive credentials and extensive experience, having served more than a decade on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals". LLC v. EPA. The Supreme Court cited Kavanaugh's dissent in MI v. EPA, when it reversed the D.C. Circuit's decision upholding the standards. He also has taken an expansive view of executive power and has favored limits on investigating the president.
Kavanaugh said the "radical" majority had essentially created a "constitutional principle as novel as it is wrong: a new right for unlawful immigrant minors in US government detention to obtain immediate abortion on demand". "He's someone that has the character, the background, the career and the record that gave President Trump the confidence to know that when he appointed Judge Kavanaugh. he would be another Constitutional conservative".
Kavanaugh also ruled that there was no "right for unlawful immigrant minors in U.S. Government detention to obtain immediate abortion on demand", although he based his decision in part on the theory that the delay in obtaining an abortion didn't constitute an "undue burden" whereas his colleague Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson recognized the illegal immigrant had no right to abortion at all.
"Throughout legal circles, he is considered a judge's judge, a true thought leader among his peers", Trump said of Kavanaugh. McConnell had said the victor of the presidential election should make the choice. There is a small contingent of Democrats from states that Trump won in 2016 who face narrow paths to reelection this fall.
Republicans hold a slim, one-seat Senate majority, and a party-line vote would lead to Kavanaugh's confirmation by the narrowest of margins.
Some Republican senators had favored other options.
Democrats and liberal advocacy groups quickly lined up in opposition. "Given the prevalence of abortion regulations both historically and at the time, Rehnquist said he could not reach such a conclusion about abortion". Democrats who were invited but declined included Sens.
Republicans will target three Democrats facing re-election in conservative states where Trump won big majorities in the 2016 election - Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Joe Donnelly of in - to support Kavanaugh.
Trump also met with Republican Sens.
The nominee's fate may rest with two Republican senators who back abortion rights, Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. The two have supported access to abortion services.
Kavanaugh has sided against the EPA in a number of other cases, but as SCOTUSblog pointed out, he has also ruled in favor of environmental groups and against companies in other cases. At the top of that list is abortion.
Trump vowed during the campaign to appoint justices who would vote to overturn Roe, the 1973 ruling that legalized abortion nationwide, and his appointment to replace Kennedy could make that a reality.
Like the other eight justices on the court, Kavanaugh has an Ivy League law degree, spending his undergraduate and law school years at Yale. Since 2006, he has been a judge on the federal appeals court in Washington. In a dissenting opinion, he said the FCC had overstepped its authority because Congress has not passed a net neutrality law.
Democrats are likely to confront Kavanaugh with those words when he sits for his confirmation hearing.
"It makes flawless sense to me that Jeff Sessions can't oversee an investigation of the campaign he was part of", Graham said of the attorney general in an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press".
And imagine this: Three of the justices at the time, including the chief justice, had been nominated to the court by the same Republican president whose fate their votes sealed.
Their confirmation is expected to shape the Supreme Court for many years to come. "I look forward to following the U.S. Senate confirmation process". Kennedy, a member of the Judiciary Committee, which will get the first chance to question the nominee, predicted a "rough, tough, down in the dirt, ear-pulling, nose-biting fight". 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.
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