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Trump nominates conservative Judge Brett Kavanaugh to Supreme Court

10 July 2018

The nomination is Trump's second to the nation's highest court, a rare presidential privilege that could seal a key part of Trump's legacy less than two years into his first term.

The source told Reuters that Amy Coney Barrett of IN, a Trump-appointed judge on the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, was still IN contention but that the Republican president had been asking more questions about the other two, who have more extensive judicial records. Judge Kavanaugh, a nominee of President George W. Bush, has penned notable rulings on a host of topics, including environmental regulations, guns, the Affordable Care Act and abortion. He also has taken an expansive view of executive power and has favored limits on investigating the president.

He also served in the U.S. House of Representatives. "I'll interpret the law as written".

Jon Kyl of Arizona to be the "Sherpa" for President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, spokesman Raj Shah announced.

"Judge Kavanaugh has impeccable credentials, unsurpassed qualifications and a proven commitment to equal justice under the law", Trump said. If confirmed, Kavanaugh would replace long-serving conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy, who announced his retirement on June 27 at age 81.

Trump said on Sunday he not made up his mind yet but expected to do so by noon on Monday, ahead of his announcement at 9 p.m.

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Top contenders had included federal appeals judges Raymond Kethledge, Amy Coney Barrett and Thomas Hardiman.

But that element of his record is among the reasons that some Republicans in Congress are concerned about a confirmation hearing in the Senate.

Both endorsed Kavanaugh's candidacy for the high court in a letter addressed to Congressional leaders including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Some Republican senators had favored other options.

Democrats and liberal advocacy groups quickly lined up in opposition.

The Senate's top Democrat Chuck Schumer said he would fight the nomination "with everything I have". Joe Donnelly, West Virginia Sen. Feinstein is the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. "Maybe a handful of Democrats will vote for a Trump pick because they have to politically".

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Meanwhile, liberal groups are already calling on two moderate Republican senators - Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska - to reject the nominee. The two have supported access to abortion services.

Kavanaugh is likely to be more conservative than Justice Kennedy on a range of social issues. Asked by reporters how many people were being considered, the president said: "Let's say it's the four people ... they're excellent, every one". Since 2006, he has been a judge on the federal appeals court in Washington.

Kavanaugh also worked with special counsel Ken Starr during the Whitewater investigation of President Bill Clinton.

Conservative judicial activists will immediately begin running ads pressuring politically vulnerable Democratic senators to vote for confirmation.

Judge Amul Thapar speaks to law students at Vanderbilt Law School in Nashville, Tenn., Jan. 10, 2017.

Kavanaugh, 53, is said to be supported by White House Counsel Don McGahn, who's supervising the search.

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Conservative critics said Kavanaugh's dissent provided the roadmap that helped persuade U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts to cast a crucial vote in upholding the law when it reached the Supreme Court in 2012. Of the court's liberal justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 85 and Stephen Breyer turns 80 next month, so Trump may well get another opportunity to cement conservative dominance of the court for years to come.

Trump nominates conservative Judge Brett Kavanaugh to Supreme Court