UNITED STATES—President Donald Trump appointed Brett Kavanaugh (U.S Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit) to the Supreme Court Justice on Monday, July 10. Kavanaugh was one of four candidates Trump was considering to fill the vacate seat of Justice Kennedy who announced he was retiring on June 27. His resignation goes into effect on July 31.
Kavanaugh previously interned for Justice Kennedy while he served on the Supreme Court. After being promoted to Associate Counsel, he helped investigate President Bill Clinton. Kavanaugh recently served as a staff secretary for President Bush, before becoming a federal judge.
Trump recently appointed Neil Gorsuch, the judge responsible for the swing vote in the case of Janus v. AFSCME. Trump stated that he is prepared for a “vicious” fight from the Democrats regarding the new Supreme Court Justice.
One of the issues the Supreme Court Justice may address in the future are rights to privacy and abortion. Trump has said that he will select pro-life Justices, and then allow the states to choose whether or not to comply.
Justice Kennedy was a conservative judge, who occasionally sided with liberal judges. Since his resignation, Democrats are concerned about the overturning of Roe V. Wade, which concerns the right to privacy and abortion.
Dana Perino of Fox News said, “I think that the President is right and that he will probably be cautious [regarding Roe V. Wade] and he will say this over and over. ‘I am not going to ask the nominee how he or she would rule specifically on this issue.’ But it [Roe V. Wade] will be the undercurrent for all the fights [between Republicans and Democrats] for the next several weeks.”
On Sunday, July 8 Trump narrowed his list down to four candidates after interviewing 25 candidates. The four remaining candidates were Amy Barrett (U.S Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit), Brett Kavanaugh (U.S Court of Appeals, D.C Circuit), Raymond Kethledge (U.S Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit), and Thomas Hardiman (U.S Court of Appeals, Third Circuit).
Trump’s nominee drew mixed reactions. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) tweeted, “Brett Kavanaugh’s record as a judge and lawyer is clear: hostile to health care for millions, opposed to the CFPB & corporate accountability, thinks Presidents like Trump are above the law – and conservatives are confident that he would overturn Roe v. Wade. I’ll be voting no.”
While talking on Fox News, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham stated, “Red-state Democrats are going to have a very hard decision and I hope every Republican will rally around these picks because they are all outstanding.”
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) told CBS News, “Judge Brett Kavanaugh is an impressive nominee who is extremely well qualified to serve as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.”
With the appointment of another Supreme Court Justice, Republicans will have firm control of the Supreme Court.