President Donald Trump is nominating U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the U.S. Supreme Court, replacing retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy and possibly cementing a moderate conservative majority on the nation’s highest tribunal.
“I do not ask about a nominee’s personal opinions,” Trump said. “What matters is not a judge’s political views but whether they can set aside those views to do what the law and Constitution require. I am pleased to say that I have found, without doubt, such a person. Tonight it is my honor and privilege to announce that I will nominate Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court.”
Kavanaugh was accompanied at the podium by his wife and two daughters.
“Mr. President, I am grateful to you and humbled by your confidence in me,” Kavanaugh said. “I am deeply honored to be nominated to fill [Justice Kennedy’s] seat on the Supreme Court.
“My judicial philosophy is straightforward. A judge must interpret the Constitution as written … I teach my students at Harvard Law School that the Constitution’s separation of powers protects the liberties of the people.
Kavanaugh was considered the frontrunner as soon as Kennedy announced his retirement plans and Trump said he would nominate a replacement in time for the choice to be confirmed before the November mid-term election.
He successfully navigated a Senate confirmation when former President George W. Bush nominated him to his current post in 2006. He previously had served in White House positions like senior associate counsel and assistant to the president.
Kavanaugh began his legal career working as a clerk for Circuit Court Judge Walter Stapleton after graduating from Yale Law School in 1990. He had the chance to clerk for Justice Kennedy for one term in 1993.
He also worked as an attorney for the Office of the Solicitor General in the Department of Justice and as an associate counsel for Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr before becoming a partner at the law firm Kirkland & Ellis in Washington, D.C.
Judge Brett Kavanaugh:
Birthplace: Washington, D.C.
Wife: Ashley Estes (former personal secretary to President George W. Bush)
Schools: Georgetown Preparatory, Yale University, undergraduate and law
Clerked for Justice Anthony Kennedy
Served in Bush 43 White House
Worked for Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr in Whitewater investigation
Religion: Catholic, Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, Washington, D.C.