President Donald Trump on Monday nominated appeals court judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy's seat on the Supreme Court. He graduated from Yale Law School and at one point clerked for Kennedy.
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. Besides McGahn, he has the support of some Republicans who admire his record as a lawyer working with independent counsel Ken Starr in the investigation of President Bill Clinton and later in the George W. Bush White House as well as his conservative record as a judge.
"What matters is not a judge's political views, but whether they can set aside those views to do what the law and the Constitution require".
"I will oppose the nomination the President will make tonight because it represents a corrupt bargain with the far Right, big corporations, and Washington special interests", Casey said in a statement.
Outside adviser Leonard Leo, now on leave from the Federalist Society, said on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday that this kind of jockeying is standard, noting that "every potential nominee before announcement gets concerns expressed about them by people who might ultimately support them".
Last week I was told Trump had essentially narrowed the list down to two: Kavanaugh and 6th Circuit Judge Raymond Kethledge.
The drama-focused president is going to announce his choice for the Kennedy seat in a Monday night address to the country at 9 p.m.
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. The nomination also comes just before the President leaves for a critical trip to Britain, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Belgium and a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Protests were held around the nation as liberals, democrats and progressives fear the president's right-leaning pick will give conservatives a majority for decades to come.
Republicans hold a slim 51-49 majority in the Senate, though with ailing Senator John McCain battling cancer in his home state of Arizona they now can muster only 50 votes. Susan Collins said she wouldn't support a nominee hostile to the court's precedent in Roe v. Wade - and the conservative Barrett has expressed a willingness to reverse precedent she sees as wrongly decided.
The White House said former Republican Senator Jon Kyl, now a Washington lobbyist, will help Trump's nominee navigate the Senate confirmation process.
All three face gruelling re-election campaigns this year in their conservative states. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) are waiting until after Trump announces his nominee before revealing how they will vote. Democrats are voicing alarm about what the new justice could mean for charged issues such as abortion rights and gay rights.
This story is breaking and will be updated. "She's very smart, she knows what she's talking about, she's a law professor, I really have a high regard for her", Hatch said. "There is no question in my mind regarding Brett for the Supreme Court".
The Senate's top Republican, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, hailed a "superb choice" in Kavanaugh and urged senators to "put partisanship aside and consider his legal qualifications with the fairness, respect, and seriousness that a Supreme Court nomination ought to command".
Before a full vote on the chamber floor, the prospective justice will be grilled by the Senate Judiciary Committee in hearings that can go on for days.
Kavanaugh is Trump's second nominee to the high court since he took office in January 2017.
Democrats have little leverage as they try to halt the nomination - though the court's rightward lurch could stoke liberal turnout in the midterm elections in which the House of Representatives is in play.
"I have interviewed many candidates for the federal bench, including (Chief Justice John) Roberts and (Justice Samuel) Alito", said Bush's former attorney general, Alberto Gonzales, said. Perhaps it will fire up Democrats to embark on the decades-long quest to remake the ideological balance of the court that the GOP has used to enthuse its grassroots voters and that Trump harnessed in 2016.