Donald Trump appointed Conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court on Monday to replace the vacancy left by the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy . His candidacy will now have to be approved by the Senate.
“No one in the United States is more qualified or more deserving,” said President Trump after summing up Brett Kavanaugh’s roadmap and touting his involvement in his community.
The 53-year-old Justice Kavanaugh has been a member of the District of Columbia Court of Appeal since 2006.
A White House adviser under the Bush presidency, he previously worked for Kenneth Starr, the lawyer who investigated former Democratic president Bill Clinton in the 1990s. His confirmation of his current position had given rise to a long political battle.
During his speech, which followed that of the President, Brett Kavanaugh emphasized his respect for the United States Constitution and the importance of it in the protection of individual liberties. “If my appointment is confirmed by the Senate, I will approach every legal case with an open mind and I will always work to preserve the US Constitution and the American Rule of Law,” he promised.
Expressing himself “deeply honored,” Mr. Kavanaugh paid tribute to his parents, both lawyers, who were present in the room. He also thanked his two daughters and his wife, Ashley Estes Kavanaugh, former personal secretary to President George W. Bush.
Catholic, Brett Kavanaugh mentioned the volunteer work he does in his religious community.
Reactions in the Senate
After the announcement, the political reactions were not long in coming from the leaders of the Upper House.
“Judge Kavanaugh has exceptional academic qualifications. He is admired for his intellect, his experience and his exemplary judicial temperament, “said Mitch McConnell, leader of the Republican majority in the Senate.
His opponent Chuck Schumer, leader of the Democratic majority, said that by choosing Judge Kavanaugh, President Trump was jeopardizing the reproductive rights and health care protection of millions of Americans. “I will oppose Judge Kavanaugh’s appointment by any means and hope that a bipartisan majority will do the same,” said Senator Schumer.
Following his appointment by President Donald Trump, Brett Kavanaugh will face the US Senate Judiciary Committee. His candidacy will then be put to the vote of the Senate, where the Republicans have a very narrow majority of 51 against 49 against the Democrats.
The outcome of this vote is still uncertain, notes Rafael Jacob, associate researcher at the observatory on the United States at UQAM.One of these 51 Republicans is John McCain, Senator of Arizona and former candidate for the Presidency, which is seriously ill and will probably not stand for a vote. His potential absence would therefore leave the Republicans a lead of only one vote.
However, two Republican senators – Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski – are known for their pro-choice position and could dissent to other elected members of their party.
On the other side of the hemicycle, among Democrats, a similar phenomenon could occur. Some of the party’s senators from more conservative states, and considering the mid-term elections that are fast approaching, may want to give the impression of bipartisan openness and support the appointment of Judge Kavanaugh.
“These Democrats will really end up between tree and bark because they will not want to give Donald Trump a political victory. […] At the same time, they must get a majority of the vote in November from an electorate that may be in support of the nomination, “says M Jacob.
Helen Lewis is a seasoned journalist with nearly 15 years experience. While studying journalism at the University of Alabama, Helen found a passion for finding engaging stories. As a contributor to Alabama Post Gazette, Helen mostly covers human interest pieces.