President Donald Trump was effusive in his praise of Brett Kavanaugh — his nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court — in a Monday night White House ceremony. Speaking from the East Room of the White House, the president said that there’s “no one in America more qualified” to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the highest court in the land. “Tonight it is my honor and privilege to announce that I will nominate judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court,
”Trump said. He added, “Throughout legal circles, he is considered a judge’s judge, a true thought leader among his peers. 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.”
President Donald Trump announced that he will nominate D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace retiring justice Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court. Trump announced the pick at a White House ceremony on Monday night, and the White House subsequently issued a statement. Kavanaugh was considered one of the most likely choices to receive the nomination, though judges like Raymond Kethledge, Thomas Hardiman, and Amy Coney Barrett were also reported to have been up for consideration.
A Yale graduate and lifelong D.C. resident, Kavanaugh has been a prominent legal figure in the Capital for years. He previously worked as an assistant and adviser to former President George W. Bush, but after his nomination to the D.C. Circuit Court, Kavanaugh built up a significant network of key legal minds and political actors around the city.
Kavanaugh’s record could draw support among moderates during his confirmation hearings, but it could also invite criticism from other factions of Congress. Even though he previously wrote against a woman’s right to have an abortion in a case, he has never issued any public opinion on whether or not Roe v. Wade is settled law.
The nominee is also likely to face scrutiny over his record on Obamacare. Kavanaugh made a ruling in 2011 in which he found that the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate was “a significant expansion of Congressional authority with no obvious principled limit.” Yet he also ruled that it functioned like a tax, which gave ACA a degree of legal protection. Beyond his judicial record, Kavanaugh’s critics might also have questions about his relationship with former 9th Circuit judge Alex Kozinski. Kavanaugh worked for Kozinski as a clerk in 1991, and the two have maintained professional ties over the years, including when they worked for Kennedy. Kosinski was recently forced into retirement due to accusations of sexual harassment, and there are outstanding questions about whether Kavanaugh knew of the allegations against him.