Trump nominates Brett Kavanaugh for Supreme Court
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said President Trump has made a "superb choice" by nominating Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
McConnell urged the Senate to put "partisanship aside and consider his legal qualifications" while working through the conformation process. (Reminder: The nomination battle will likely ignite a firestorm on Capitol Hill as it comes just a year after Republicans changed the rules of the Senate in order to push through the nomination of Justice Neil Gorsuch.)
Here's McConnell full statement:
Because of Brett Kavanaugh’s extensive paper trail and long record, moving his nomination quickly could be challenging, according to sources in both parties.
Two senior Democratic sources in particular say Trump picked a tougher fight than he had to by choosing Kavanaugh, saying it reopens Bush-era controversies like torture, and puts both Roe v Wade and defending pre-existing conditions under the Affordable Care Act back on the table.
In terms of a timeframe, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley told CNN earlier tonight that someone with a long record will take time to go through the full record — and he would not commit to holding confirmation hearings before September.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer released a statement opposing Brett Kavanaugh's nomination just moments after President Trump announced his pick:
Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, said he's grateful to President Trump for the selection.
"Mr. President, I am grateful to you, and I'm humbled by your confidence in me," he said.
He also thanked Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, who he said hired him as a teacher.
"For the past 11 years I've taught hundreds of students primarily at Harvard Law School. I teach that the Constitution's separation of powers protects individual liberty, and I remain grateful to the dean who hired me, Justice Elena Kagan," he said.
As he was introducing Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump said he didn't ask the candidates for the Supreme Court seat about their political views.
"In keeping with President Reagan’s legacy, I do not ask about a nominee’s personal opinions," Trump said.
"What matters is not a judge's political views, but whether they can set aside those views to do what the law and the Constitution require. I am pleased to say I have found without doubt such a person."
President Trump, who just nominated Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, said he has "impeccable credentials, unsurpassed qualifications, and a proven commitment to equal justice under the law."
"Throughout legal circles, he is considered a judge’s judge, a true thought leader among his peers," Trump said.
"He’s a brilliant jurist with a clear and effective writing style universally regarded as one of the finest and sharpest legal minds of our time."
President Trump announced from the White House East Room that he is nominating Brett Kavanaugh to replace Justice Kennedy on the Supreme Court.
Kavanaugh was confirmed to his position on the Court of Appeals for DC on May 26, 2006, about 12 years ago. The 53-year-old worked in the Bush administration and also for independent counsel Kenneth Starr in the investigation that eventually led to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.
Kavanaugh has a history of conservatives votes in areas concerning presidential authority, the Second Amendment and religious liberty.
However, some social conservatives — while refusing to go on the record — criticized two of his opinions: one dealing with the Affordable Care Act and a second about an undocumented pregnant teen who sought an abortion.