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President Trump Has Made His Supreme Court Nominee Decision
10 July 2018, 05:55 | Glen Norman
In selecting Brett Kavanaugh for the supreme court, Donald Trump has picked a jurist who has always been touted as a conservative rising star.
Hardiman, who was runner-up to Neil Gorsuch as the president's Supreme Court pick past year, made a comeback on Trump's shortlist this weekend in part because of the president's sister, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, who serves with Hardiman on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
Judge Kavanaugh recently voiced disagreement with a court decision allowing an undocumented teenage immigrant to have an abortion.
Trump is hoping to replicate his successful nomination of Justice Neil Gorsuch past year.
A favorite of the Republican legal establishment in Washington, Kavanaugh, 53, is a former law clerk for retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.
"There is no one in America more qualified for this position, and no one more deserving", Trump said of Kavanaugh on Monday night.
He also spent five years in the White House under George W. Bush as associate counsel, a senior associate counsel and as staff secretary, which prompted Democrats to cast him as an inexperienced partisan ideologue during his contentious confirmation in 2006 to the powerful U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
He also worked for Kenneth Starr, the independent counsel who investigated then president Bill Clinton but in 2009 he was reported as saying that presidents should be free from civil lawsuits, criminal prosecutions and investigations while in office.
Kavanaugh dissented from his court's 2011 conclusion that Obamacare, a law detested by conservatives, did not violate the U.S. Constitution, asserting that it was premature to decide the case's merits.
Democrats have turned their attention to pressuring two Republicans, Sens. This isn't the first time he's helped nominees get through the Senate.
Republicans hold 51 seats in the Senate, though Arizona Sen. Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Doug Jones of Alabama, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Dianne Feinstein of California.
Trump's aides have prepared briefing books and booked television spots for whomever he picks, anticipating that they'll have little time to spare between his decision and the reveal, sources tell ABC News.
The high court handed Trump and his administration a series of victories in its term that ended on the day of Kennedy's retirement, including a major decision upholding the president's travel ban targeting people from several Muslim-majority countries. Not long after Schumer spoke, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell accused the "far left" of engaging in "scare tactics" over the nominee.
Conservative judicial activists will immediately begin running ads pressuring politically vulnerable Democratic senators to vote for confirmation.
Like the other eight justices on the court, Kavanaugh has an Ivy League law degree, spending his undergraduate and law school years at Yale. Of the court's liberal justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 85 and Stephen Breyer turns 80 next month, so Trump may well get another opportunity to cement conservative dominance of the court for years to come.
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A confirmation for Judge Kavanaugh would mean "women's reproductive rights would be in the hands of five men on the Supreme Court", he added.
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