President Trump kicked off a busy week by announcing U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Brett Kavanaugh as his pick to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court.
The pick, while a little safer than an early favorite in 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Amy Coney Barrett – a favorite among social conservatives, has still created an even larger battle line in Washington D.C. as Democrats lined up immediately to attack Kavanaugh’s record, especially on Kavanaugh’s position on Roe vs. Wade and affirmative action.
Before the 2016 election, Republicans vowed to block any Hillary nominee for the supreme court. “I promise you that we will be united against any Supreme Court nominee that Hillary Clinton, if she were president, would put up. I promise you” – Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) in October 2016.
“If Hillary Clinton becomes president, I am going to do everything I can do to make sure that four years from now, we still got an opening on the Supreme Court” – Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) in October 2016.
As other Republicans made similar remarks to block any Hillary nominee, Democrats now feel they need to do that very thing due to the seemingly heavily conservative nature of Brett Kavanaugh.
“I will oppose him with everything I’ve got,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, told CBS News the day after Trump made the announcement.
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) July 10, 2018
Kavanaugh also drew criticism from the right side of the aisle as former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pennsylvania, told CNN’s Chris Cuomo that he believed Trump “was going to energize the base with this pick. I don’t think he did that.”
“He’s from Washington,” Santorum said of Kavanaugh. “He is the establishment pick. He is the Bush pick.”
Prior to his appointment to the Court of Appeals, Kavanaugh was White House staff secretary to former President George W. Bush and was an independent counsel for Ken Starr’s investigation of former President Bill Clinton.
Kavanaugh spent the week visiting with senators on Capitol Hill prior to his initial nomination hearing. If confirmed, he would be the second Trump nominee confirmed after Justice Neil Gorsuch was confirmed to replace Justice Antonin Scalia in 2017.
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