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JULY 10, 2018
The liberals won't like whoever President Trump picks as a Supreme Court Justice. President Trump nominated appeals court judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court Monday night to replace the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, ending a days-long guessing game that began the moment Kennedy announced his retirement on June 27. In televised remarks from the East Room of the White House, the president praised what he called Kavanaugh's "impeccable credentials, unsurpassed qualifications and a proven commitment to equal justice under the law." "There is no one in America more qualified for this position, and no one more deserving," Trump said.
The four finalists Kavanaugh and fellow appeals court judges Amy Coney Barrett, Thomas Hardiman and Raymond Kethledge were drawn from a list of 25 names vetted by conservative groups. A clue to Kavanaughs nomination emerged hours before the announcement when the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a written opinion in which the judge sided with the majority. The D.C. court does not typically issue opinions on Mondays except in response to emergency petitions, suggesting that the case had to be disposed of before Kavanaugh was nominated for the high court.
Kavanaugh, a former law clerk to Kennedy in
1993, was elevated to the powerful federal appeals court in the District
of Columbia by President George W. Bush, under whom he had served as a
White House lawyer and staff secretary. Kavanaugh, 53, also won the confidence
of key players in the Bush circle such as strategist Karl Rove. The Bush
connections also harmed him with Democrats at the time of his initial nomination,
who delayed his confirmation. But despite the criticism, he wore his support
for Bush on his sleeve. It remains to be seen if those ties will complicate
his confirmation process now -- both with Democrats and Trumps base.