Trump's Supreme Court pick would solidify court's conservative bent, experts say

Trump's Supreme Court pick would solidify court's conservative bent, experts say

President Donald Trump's nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court has legal scholars and politicians carefully parsing the judge's previous decisions for clues about the future of USA policy. Trump's first Supreme Court nomination, Justice Neil Gorsuch, was confirmed to the Supreme Court by the Senate in April 2017.

Kavanaugh now serves as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. "Although Kavanaugh worked on the impeachment of President Clinton, he now maintains that "criminal investigations and prosecutions of the president" should be deferred while a president is in office". "But the constant strain through all of the rulings, through all the opinions, through all the writings is an individual who interprets the law and the Constitution as it was written and doesn't legislate from the bench". The Supreme Court decision not to do so led to Bush becoming the president.

Kavanaugh, a reliably conservative judge on the United States court of appeals for the DC Circuit, has been involved in some of the highest profile political battles of the modern era, including the impeachment of Bill Clinton.

Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer vowed an all-out battle against Kavanaugh, but senators in his party can not block Kavanaugh's confirmation if no Republicans break ranks.

The Workmen's Circle, a progressive Jewish organization with roots in the labor movement, said Kavanaugh's nomination represents the latest salvo in a "war against the working people of this country".

She said that with Kavanaugh's credentials, "it's very hard for anyone to tell me that he's not qualified for the job".




For its part, the NAACP vowed to fight Kavanaugh's nomination, saying the confirmation process should be postponed until after the election of a new Senate in November's mid-term elections.

Kennedy is a conservative who often served as a swing vote, and activists on both side of the abortion debate have been discussing whether his successor might help overturn Roe v. Wade. With Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., receiving cancer treatment in his home state, Republicans need all 50 Republicans, plus Pence as a tiebreaker, to confirm Kavanaugh, assuming no Democrats join them. "We've got the Russian Federation investigation, which is a significant one, and here we've got [a nominee] who said that the president should be above the law when they're president", Leahy said.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, Nihad Awad, the national executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said that the Senate must grill Kavanaugh on his views on civil rights and presidential powers. Given the Republican's slim 51-49 majority in the Senate, the conservative seemingly already has the numbers to take Kennedy's seat.

Even Tester, who has been hit by Trump politically for labeling the president's former Veterans Affairs pick Ronny Jackson the "candy man", suggested to his colleagues that they give Kavanaugh a chance. He wrote that the high court has "held that the government may further those interests so long as it does not impose an undue burden on a woman seeking an abortion".

"Kavanaugh would bring all of Trump's worst qualities to the Supreme Court for decades to come", said Neera Tanden, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank.

"This is an opportunity for senators to put partisanship aside and consider his legal qualifications with the fairness, respect, and seriousness that a Supreme Court nomination ought to command", McConnell said.

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