On Monday, July 9th, 2018 President Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh to be the newest Justice of Supreme Court of the United States (often referred to as SCOTUS).
Some background on Brett Kavanaugh:
1) Yale Law School graduate
2) White House “Staff Secretary” from 2003-2006 under President George W Bush
3) A key contributor to the Kenneth Starr investigation into President Bill Clinton, one of the authors of the 1998 “Starr Report”\
4) Clerked for Justice Anthony Kennedy from 1993-1994 White House “Staff Secretary” from 2003-2006 under President George W Bush
5) Nominated by President George W Bush to serve on the DC Court of Appeals since 2006
Mairead McArdle of the National Review mentioned that Kavanaugh has not always sided with the Republicans.
Amy Davidson Sorkin of the New Yorker Felt Kavanaugh was chosen because he would replace a swing vote with a reliable vote that the conservatives and the Federalist Society could count on. In the quick comments that he made at the announcement, it is clear that Kavanaugh is getting his “narrative” ready to attempt to survive and eek out a firey confirmation process in the Senate.
Meg Wagner of CNN discussed the various issues that Kavanaugh is likely to be discussing. One of the key controversial areas will be Roe vs. Wade. Another will be his comments many years ago that sitting Presidents should NOT be held accountable in the courts during their tenure. That it is up to the Legislative Branch to rectify any issues during a Presidential term.
Aljazeera pointed out that this sets up a confirmation battle between the Democrats and the Republicans. The only problem with that is the timing. But with John McCain potentially not able to vote due to him undergoing Cancer treatments it is set up to be a very close vote.
“He’s a brilliant jurist with a clear and effective writing style, universally regarded as one of the finest and sharpest legal minds of our time. And just like Justice Gorsuch, he excelled as a legal clerk for Justice Kennedy,” President Trump added, saying his nominee “deserves a swift confirmation and robust bipartisan support”.
If the Republicans can get this SCOTUS nomination through before the November election, it will be much easier for them. It will be exceedingly difficult for the Democrats be bring enough Republicans to “break rank” and side with them to slow down, much less stop Kavanaugh from being confirmed. But there are certain procedural efforts that could slow it down. Whether or not this could be slowed down, much less stopped is unknown. Since the Senate Republican leadership was willing to use the “nuclear option” to break the Democratic Party filibuster on President Trump’s first SCOTUS nomination (Gorsuch) in early April, 2017, it appears the Republicans will be willing to do whatever it takes to get Kavanaugh seated on the Supreme Court.
The Democrats best hope is to delay it well enough that it can be decided after the November elections. Just the fact that they will attempt to slow down the confirmation process.
The obligatory family picture: