And The Nominee Is …

July 12, 2018

It’s been about two weeks since US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement after thirty years on the bench. Since then, President Trump has wasted no time in trying to fill Justice Kennedy’s soon-to-be vacant seat by nominating Brett Kavanaugh for the role earlier this week.

By The White House [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Who is Brett Kavanaugh? He’s a judge who currently sits on the Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit (the same court that Justices John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg sat on before joining the US Supreme Court, and one that is often thought of as the second most powerful court in the country). Interestingly enough, Kavanaugh also clerked for Justice Anthony Kennedy in the 1990s. So what’s the concern over his nomination? Let’s start with the Democrats. Kavanaugh is deeply rooted in Washington DC politics. He worked with special prosecutor Kenneth Starr during his investigation into former President Bill Clinton and helped draft the recommendation for his impeachment.

By White House photo by Eric Draper [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons Swearing-in Ceremony for Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Oval. Rose Garden.
He was also nominated to the Court of Appeals by then President George W. Bush. In 2009, Kavanaugh expressed that presidents should be protected from lawsuits and criminal investigations because they are “time-consuming and distracting.” As for Conservatives, Kavanaugh might be too much of a wildcard when it comes to hot-button issues like the environment and abortion. After all, he does believe that the planet is getting warmer and has dissented from some more conservative rulings in the past. So will Kavanaugh be confirmed by the Senate? We’ll have to wait and see.