President Trump announced on Monday that he has nominated Brett Kavanaugh to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by Anthony Kennedy’s retirement. Kavanaugh currently serves on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Kavanaugh is a proven conservative with a clean record whom Republicans hope to be able to confirm in the Senate before the upcoming November midterm elections.
University of Iowa Daily Iowan: David G. Savage believes Kavanaugh is “a well-credentialed Washington insider who compiled a long record as a reliable conservative and won the respect of White House lawyers and the outside groups that advise them.”
• “They are confident that, if confirmed by the Senate, he will move the high court to the right on abortion, gun rights, affirmative action, religious liberty, and environmental protection, among other issues.”
• “Senate Democrats are sure to press Kavanaugh to explain his views on investigating and impeaching a president based on allegations of lies and a cover-up, something that could prove uncomfortable for Trump given the investigation underway by Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III.”
Yale Daily News: Anastasiia Posnova covers Trump’s decision for Kavanaugh’s alma mater, citing the president’s preference for “the next Supreme Court Justice to have a degree from either Harvard or Yale Law School.”
• “He is much more conservative in his approach to law than Justice Kennedy,” Justin Walker, a University of Louisville law professor who clerked for Kavanaugh at the appeals court and Kennedy at the Supreme Court, recently told the Los Angeles Times. “There is no guesswork with Judge Kavanaugh. He is extremely predictable.”
• “In a 2009 article in the Minnesota Law Review, he also argued that a sitting president should be exempt from ‘time-consuming and distracting’ lawsuit investigations unless there are grounds for impeachment.”
The Bottom Line:
Although Kavanaugh’s track record shows the steady rightward lean that the Trump administration sought in its nominee, Kavanaugh’s nomination will likely upset some of the president’s earliest -anti-establishment supporters. Kavanaugh, who worked for and maintains close friendships with the Bush family, is widely considered to be an establishment Republican. However, Kavanaugh’s predictability and wide recognition will give Republicans an easier fight during the Senate confirmation battle.