Friday, 20 July, 2018

Hundreds protest at the Supreme Court after Trump nominates Kavanaugh

Alabama Democrat keeping an open mind on Trump's SCOTUS pick Trump 'very close' to decision on Supreme Court pick
Lisa Bryan | 10 July, 2018, 08:44

Bush praised President Donald Trump's nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court on Monday, calling it an "outstanding decision" and praising Kavanaugh as a "brilliant jurist".

"Throughout legal circles he's considered a judge's judge, a true thought leader among his peers", Trump, who named conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch to the court a year ago, told an applauding audience in the White House East Room during the announcement that was carried on prime-time TV. Kavanaugh worked in the Bush White House as an associate counsel, Staff Secretary and Assistant to the President.

A graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School, Kavanaugh spent two years as a law clerk, for Judge Walter Stapleton of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit and Judge Alex Kozinski of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. He is a fine husband, father, and friend-and a man of the highest integrity. But four Democrats from states Trump won in 2016 voted to confirm Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch a year ago, leaving the Republicans room for error.

With President Trump about to make his Supreme Court nomination, one top Democrat is so anxious he's urging his colleagues to put the country before their own careers.

Leonard Leo, a former vice president of the Federalist Society who has advised Trump on judicial nominations, said his goal "has always been to find people to serve on the court who believe in the constitution as it's written".

Democrats see the seat being vacated by Justice Kennedy, a conservative judge who sometimes sided with the court's liberal wing, as critical to maintaining abortion rights and key provisions of former President Barack Obama's healthcare plan.

Yet, following Trump's nomination, McConnell called on his colleagues "to put partisanship aside and consider his legal qualifications with the fairness, respect, and seriousness that a Supreme Court nomination ought to command".

"Most of the time Kennedy swung to the conservative side, especially on questions of the limits of congressional power, the First Amendment, and the Second Amendment", Burrus, who also is managing editor of the Cato Supreme Court Review, tells VOA. - U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., says she does not have a litmus test for who she wants to serve on the Supreme Court, but someone similar to Justice Neil Gorsuch would be a great selection.

The nominee must be confirmed by the US Senate, which the Republican president's party narrowly controls 51-49. Kavanaugh would be less receptive to abortion and gay rights than Kennedy was.


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".

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.

Still, Trump has recounted how close he came to selecting Hardiman, who was recommended by the president's sister and sometime confidante, retired federal judge Maryanne Trump Barry.

Kavanaugh's family was present when Trump made the announcement.

The coming battle over a Supreme Court nominee promises to be a bruising one. Judge Thomas Hardiman is a USA appeals court judge that The Washington Post reports is a "Second Amendment extremist".

Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia will be prime targets. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has been absent since December and is battling brain cancer.

Democrats who plan to oppose Trump's nominee are focusing on two Republican moderates, Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, hoping to turn them against Trump's selection.

"President Trump has made another outstanding choice", Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List, said a statement moments later.

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