Trump picks Brett Kavanaugh as Supreme Court nominee; local politicians react

Dem senator to oppose Supreme Court nominee cites 'corrupt bargain' with 'far Right'

USA appeals court judges Raymond Kethledge and Amy Coney Barrett were also in contention but CNN reported that Kethledge remains at home in MI and NBC News said Barrett was at her home in IN ahead of Trump's announcement.

A Democratic senator from Hawaii is leaving open the possibility of voting for President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee despite widespread calls for an automatic "no" vote from her party.

The 53-year-old Kavanaugh is a longtime fixture of the Republican establishment.

"Judge Kavanaugh has impeccable credentials, unsurpassed qualifications, and a proven commitment to equal justice under the law", Trump said as he introduced his nominee in a prime-time address from the White House, praising him as "one of the finest and sharpest legal minds of our time". "I look forward to meeting the nominee in a setting where we can discuss his or her experience, judicial philosophy & perspective on access to healthcare for WVians with pre-existing conditions".

Judge Kavanaugh has served as a judge on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit since 2006, authoring more than 300 opinions, including 11 that have been affirmed by the Supreme Court. He has stood against abortion, for Second Amendment rights, and against several regulations from former President Barack Obama's administration.

Since Kennedy declared his retirement almost two weeks ago, conservative groups have been gearing up for a battle of a lifetime as Democrats vow to do everything possible to block President Trump's choice. An example of this came in 2015, when, thanks to him, same-sex marriage was legalized across the United States. Kavanaugh in 2009 changed his tune on the Starr probe, arguing that presidents should be free from civil lawsuits, criminal prosecutions and investigations while in office.

He was also part of the legal team challenging Florida's recount in the 2000 election. He recently voiced disagreement with a court decision allowing an undocumented teenage immigrant to get an abortion.

Trump made the announcement in the East Room of the White House and rousing applause broke out as Kavanaugh entered with his wife and two daughters.

"Judge Kavanaugh's reasoning on religious liberty, Obamacare, and issues concerning life have proven to be of major concern", said AFA President Tim Wildmon. "I'll interpret the law as written". I believe that an independent judiciary is the crown jewel of our constitutional republic. But a woman's right to choose may be at the center of the Senate's confirmation hearings. But Barrett told senators she would not let her staunch Catholic beliefs affect her legal rulings.

"Esteemed by his colleagues, faithful to the Constitution, a record of thoughtful decisions, and already confirmed for the DC Circuit; Brett Kavanaugh has the right stuff", Romney wrote. "We must do everything we can to stop this nomination". Meanwhile, Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona is battling brain cancer and has not been back to the Capitol since December.

Mr Kavanaugh was reportedly asked in 2003 about repealing Roe v Wade, the landmark law on abortions that Mr Trump would like to repeal, and he said he believes the law is "binding precedent".

Leo said: "Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Barrett have a lot of name recognition among supporters of the president, and I think that ultimately when people like them are nominated, you'll see a lot of folks line up".

This time, the Republicans have a simple majority in the Senate (51 votes needed), but in an election year anything can happen.

In a wider sense, his nominee will also represent a triumph for conservatism and the organized effort to promote vetted conservative judges that offered McConnell a pipeline of candidates for lower courts and now is reaching the ultimate prize - a solid Supreme Court majority. At The National Law Journal, Leon Friedman contends that even if the nominee is confirmed, "that doesn't mean progressives are powerless against such rollbacks" to abortion rights, LGBT rights and affirmative action.

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