On Monday, President Donald Trump officially announced Brett Kavanaugh, 53, as his nomination to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. Kavanaugh, a Washington DC native, is a federal appeals court judge, serving on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals since 2006, having been nominated for that post by George W. Bush.
During the mid-1990s, Kavanaugh was part of Kenneth Starr’s independent counsel team, a group that investigated then-President Bill Clinton. He also assisted in writing the Starr Report to Congress.
In 2006, Kavanaugh was confirmed to the DC District Court of Appeals after a three-year confirmation process.
Kavanaugh has long-standing legal credentials, a lengthy political record, and is considered an ideological conservative. Many think him a safer choice than some of the other candidates who made Trump’s short list.
“Judge Kavanaugh has impeccable credentials,” Trump said after making the announcement on Monday night, according to a report by CNBC. “Throughout legal circles, he is considered a true judge’s judge.”
“There is no one more qualified for this position, and no one more deserving,” Trump continued, adding that he was looking for a “swift” confirmation in the Senate and calling for “robust bipartisan support.”
Kavanaugh praised Kennedy as he accepted the nomination, and referred to the Supreme Court as “the crown jewel of our republic.”
“A judge must interpret the law, not make the law,” he added.
Democrats pushed against his nomination for the DC District Court of Appeals, largely on claims of partisanship. Now, concerns about his stance and his Catholic faith leave many Democrats fearing that a more conservative court would overturn Roe vs. Wade.
However, Kavanaugh has not explicitly expressed an interest in overturning the legislation since making Trump’s short list, and even drew the ire of conservatives during a case involving an undocumented immigrant, who was seeking an abortion while in federal custody, when he “did not directly challenge her right to have an abortion under certain circumstances.”
Some conservatives believed Kavanaugh’s stance was not strong enough, even though he dissented from the majority decision that said the abortion should not be blocked.
Kavanaugh faces a tough confirmation fight in the Senate and is expected to begin meeting with senators on Tuesday.