President Donald Trump has nominated Brett Kavanaugh for the United States Supreme Court. The nomination is the beginning of a seemingly acrimonious political battle in the Senate ahead of Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Kavanaugh is seen by many as a conservative-leaning judge and analysts think that his nomination will steer the Supreme Court to a more conservative course for decades to come.
Until his nomination, Brett Kavanaugh served as a federal appeals court judge. His nomination was widely welcomed by conservatives in the US with liberals and progressives rejecting the president’s decision. Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation by the Senate could be one of Trump’s most important and consequential decisions yet but we are still very far from that.
Kavanaugh’s record as a judge is expected to come under close scrutiny over the coming few days. Kavanaugh has drawn some concerns especially among advocates of the Roe v Wade landmark ruling of 1973 that gave women the right to an abortion. Kavanaugh just recently ruled against an abortion request by a 17-year-old undocumented immigrant but was later overruled by colleagues at the courts of appeal. Some pro-abortion activists argue that this is the clearest indication yet of how Kavanaugh might vote should there be a future review of the Roe v Wade decision.
Judge Kavanaugh may also be a crucial vote for president Trump in the ongoing investigation against him and members of his campaign by special counsel Robert Mueller. At some point, the Supreme Court may have to decide whether a sitting president can be criminally prosecuted. Kavanaugh has long maintained his objection to the Mueller investigation. The court of appeal judge believes that no sitting president should be criminally prosecuted while still in office.
Kavanaugh wrote in a 2009 article that there was a serious constitutional question regarding the criminal indictment and prosecution of a sitting president. He argued that such an action would cripple the functions of the federal government in both the local and international level. His nomination comes barely weeks after the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy. Kennedy has often been considered the “swing vote” in the court and did well during his time to maintain some level of balance between left-leaning justices and conservatives ones.
It’s also been 18 months since the nomination and appointment of Neil Gorsuch, a highly conservative justice that was nominated by the President. Trump had received a lot of praise from Republicans across the country for the nomination of Justice Gorsuch and it’s very likely that the nomination of Kavanaugh will do the same thing.
Trump made it clear when he nominated Kavanaugh that he felt no one in America was more qualified to take over from Justice Kennedy. Kavanaugh, on the other hand, said that he felt humbled and deeply honored by the nomination. However, the court of appeals judge was careful to avoid any ideological leanings during the press conference at the White House. The road to confirmation is definitely a long one but with a House and Senate majority for now, the GOP may have an edge over Democratic lawmakers.