President Donald Trump has introduced his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as “a judge’s judge” and cited his “proven commitment to equal justice under the law.”
Trump announced Kavanaugh as his pick Monday night on prime-time television.
The 53-year-old Kavanaugh is a longtime fixture of the Republican establishment. He has been a judge on the federal appeals court in Washington since 2006. He also was a key aide to Kenneth Starr during the investigation of President Bill Clinton. Kavanaugh also worked in the White House during George W. Bush’s presidency.
Trump says Kavanaugh has “impeccable credentials and unsurpassed qualifications.”
Trump made the announcement in the East Room of the White House and rousing applause broke out as Kavanaugh entered with his wife and two daughters.
Judge Kavanaugh says he is “humbled” and “deeply honored” to have been selected by President Donald Trump for the Supreme Court.
Kavanaugh told the president Monday night as he took the microphone to accept his nomination that he was “grateful to you” and “humbled by your confidence in me.”
He also says he is “deeply honored” to be nominated to fill the seat of retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, for whom he clerked.
Kavanaugh says that if he’s confirmed, he “will keep an open mind in every case” and “always strive to preserve the Constitution of the United States and the American rule of law.”
He also thanked his parents and talked about his young daughters, whose basketball teams he coaches. He says his daughters’ teammates call him “Coach K.”
The Senate’s top Democrat says President Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court puts abortion rights and health care protections for women “on the judicial chopping block.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says by picking Kavanaugh, Trump is delivering on his pledge to “punish” women for their choices.
He says he will fight the nomination “with everything I have.” He’s urging people to make their voices heard, an indirect reference to voicing their objections to senators.
Schumer says if Kavanaugh is confirmed, “women’s reproductive rights would be in the hands of five men on the Supreme Court.”
Schumer and other Democrats have cited campaign statements Trump made to assert that any of the candidates Trump mulled would oppose abortion rights and the Obama-era health care law.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says that Judge Brett Kavanaugh is a “superb” Supreme Court pick and that senators should “put partisanship aside” in considering him.
President Donald Trump announced Kavanaugh’s nomination Monday evening.
Democrats are already lining up against Kavanaugh as too conservative. But McConnell says senators should give him “the fairness, respect, and seriousness that a Supreme Court nomination ought to command.”
McConnell says Kavanaugh believes judges should ignore their personal and political views and simply “interpret our laws as they are written.”
The Kentucky Republican faces a challenge in winning Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
Republicans hold a mere 50-49 Senate majority, with the prolonged absence of the ailing Arizona GOP Sen. John McCain. The defection of one Republican would kill the nomination unless at least one Democrat votes yes.