Nearly immediately after US President Donald Trump announced federal judge Brett Kavanaugh as his nominee to replace Anthony Kennedy on the US Supreme Court, Jewish groups and leaders expressed concern for what his confirmation would mean for the future of the high court and its impact on American life. If confirmed, Kavanaugh would be the second justice installed by Trump, who nominated Neil Gorsuch to the court shortly after being inaugurated past year. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has some reservations about Kavanaugh, including his decisions on healthcare and his work in Bush's White House.
Tanden was speaking at a conference hosted by UnidosUS, the largest Hispanic advocacy group in the country, and hours before President Trump was slated to announce his pick at 9 p.m.to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. On the bright side, Kavanaugh worked for Ken Starr during his probe of President Bill Clinton, and is credited by pundits with some of the most salacious questions to that POTUS.
Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal of CT, a member of the Judiciary Committee, said the president "outsourced" his decision to the conservative Federalist Society and Heritage Foundation, which first helped Trump compile a list of 25 prospective Supreme Court justices during the 2016 campaign.
Leonard Leo, who is on leave from the Federalist Society and has been advising Trump over the court nomination, said he assumes Kavanaugh, Barrett, Hardiman and Kethledge "are the four" who are getting the most focus. "What matters is not a judge's political views but whether they can set aside those views to do what the law and Constitution require", Trump said. But in a law review article in 2009, Kavanaugh wrote that it was not in the public's interest to indict a sitting president.
During the last Supreme Court confirmation of Colorado's Neil Gorsuch, Republicans changed Senate rules to eliminate filibusters for Supreme Court nominees and confirm them by simple majority. "He speaks Spanish. His wife comes from a Democratic family, and he knows how to engage with all kind of people, not just Republicans". But some Democrats accused him of excessive partisanship and it took three years before the Senate eventually voted to confirm him.
The battle for Senate confirmation of Trump's Supreme Court pick is likely to be one of the most intense. In most of those cases, Collins supported a judicial nominee picked by a Democratic president whom her colleagues shunned.
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On the issues, Kavanaugh seems to tick numerous boxes of interest to Trump, who included him on a list of potential Supreme Court picks published by the White House in November 2017. Kavanaugh was confirmed to the D.C. Circuit Court in 2006, after working as an associate counsel in the Bush administration. "I will conduct a careful, thorough vetting of the president's nominee to the Supreme Court, as I have done with the five previous Supreme Court justices whom I have considered".
Republicans in the Senate need to be completely united on the pick, because of the delicate nature of their majority. Sen.
The appointment will not change the ideological breakdown of a court that already has a 5-4 conservative majority, but nevertheless could move the court to the right. He was nominated in 2003, but his hearings were delayed by three years because of partisan fights in the Senate.
Kavanaugh, 53, is said to be supported by White House Counsel Don McGahn, who's supervising the search. Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Doug Jones of Alabama, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Dianne Feinstein of California. She needs to make it through a closed primary, in which only Republicans can vote, for her reelection bid in 2020, making opposing Trump unsafe.
Republican Senator Susan Collins of ME has said she couldn't support a nominee that doesn't respect legal precedent and would overturn the "settled law" of Roe V. Wade. Trump is committed to placing an extreme ideologue on the Court, who could endanger environmental protections, overturn Roe v. Wade, and undermine protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
The timing of the nomination means that Kennedy's replacement could be confirmed before the start of the Supreme Court's next term on the first Monday in October.