Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Trump weighs top picks for Supreme Court amid last-minute maneuvering

Trump weighs top picks for Supreme Court amid last-minute maneuvering

If confirmed by the Senate, Kavanaugh would fill the seat of retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, a swing vote who sometimes sided with the court's liberals in key cases.

A senior White House official says Trump called Kavanaugh on Sunday evening to inform him that he was his choice to be nominated to the Supreme Court.

"He is a brilliant jurist with a clear and effective writing style, universally regarded as one of the finest and sharpest legal minds of our time", Trump said. "I was a law clerk to [former Justice Harry Blackmun]". President Barack Obama nominated U.S. Circuit Judge Merrick Garland in March 2016, but the Republican-controlled Senate did not take up the nomination. Some conservative activists have questioned whether he would rule sufficiently aggressively as a justice. "Montanans have a lot on the line with this next Supreme Court justice, so I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to put politics aside and do what's best for this nation". Just as I described another name on the final list, Judge Raymond Kethledge, as "Gorsuch 2.0", I think it is accurate to describe Judge Kavanaugh as "Roberts 2.0".

Looking ahead to his confirmation hearings, Kavanaugh said, "I will tell each senator that I revere the Constitution".

Leonard Leo, a former vice president of the Federalist Society who has advised Trump on judicial nominations, said his goal "has always been to find people to serve on the court who believe in the constitution as it's written". In 2003, he served as Assistant to the President as the White House Staff Secretary, according to SCOTUS Blog. The "terror memos" are back on the table, as are the theories behind the articles of impeachment against Clinton - theories that Kavanaugh helped draft (though of course only as an employee of Starr). CNN reported no Democrat lawmakers were in the East Room when Trump made his announcement.

We are confident that the Senate will confirm Judge Kavanaugh, and we look forward to Judge Kavanaugh being seated in time for the start of the Supreme Court's new term in October.

Kavanaugh is a center-right judge who will, I believe, vote with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. nearly all of the time, and who can argue the center-right originalist view as easily and persuasively as the chief justice. Thomas, at 70, is the oldest of the court's remaining Republican appointees.

Trump tweeted Sunday that he will announce his pick on Monday at 9 p.m. EDT.

Schumer, Schatz, Harris, Gillibrand, and others have the hard task of keeping all 49 Democratic senators in lockstep, which maybe not be as strong a bloc as they hope. Sen.

Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of SC and Roy Blunt of Missouri said Sunday that they believe any of the top four contenders could get confirmed by the GOP-majority Senate.

Trump made the announcement Monday night, saying the selection of a Supreme Court justice is one of the most important decisions a president can make. The nomination is poised to cement the Supreme Court's conservative majority, vastly reshaping the court for decades to come. But a new, more solidly conservative majority could shift that balance.

Democrats are certain to press Trump's latest nominee on the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationwide, a decision some conservatives - particularly conservative Christians - have long wanted to overturn.

What McConnell reportedly said about Trump's... Schumer asked what he personally thought about the ruling, but Kavanaugh said it wasn't "appropriate" to reveal his own opinion.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The new justice can be expected to cast crucial votes on other matters of national importance including gay rights, gun control, the death penalty and voting rights.

U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.

He has joined with Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Samuel Alito to serve as judges in mock trials to benefit the Shakespeare Theatre Company.

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