The Raw Data
Unspun and unbiased. These are the facts.
President Donald Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court to fill Justice Anthony Kennedy’s position, which will become vacant at his planned July 31 retirement. Speaking from the White House on Monday evening, Trump said it was his “honor and privilege” to nominate Kavanaugh, a current judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Kavanaugh, who was joined at the podium by his wife and two daughters, thanked the president.
Kavanaugh, 53, was nominated to the Court of Appeals by then-President George W. Bush in 2003 and confirmed in 2006, and has served on the bench for 12 years. He has a “conservative” judicial record, according to The New York Times and The Washington Post. Trump said in his speech that Kavanaugh has authored more than 300 opinions on the bench with a “clear and effective writing style,” eleven of which have been adopted by the U.S. Supreme Court, according to the White House.
Earlier Monday, the White House said former Senator Jon Kyl (R) of Arizona would serve as a guide to the nominee, now known to be Kavanaugh, as he meets with the Senate Judiciary Committee and other senators during the confirmation process.
Kavanaugh requires a majority vote from the Senate to be confirmed for the Supreme Court seat. The GOP technically has 51 of the 100 seats in the Senate, but with Senator John McCain of Arizona absent while he receives treatment for brain cancer, Republicans hold 50 seats, while Democrats and independents hold 49. In the case of a tie, Vice President Mike Pence holds the deciding vote.
During the announcement, Trump thanked lawmakers on both sides of the aisle for consultations during the nomination process, and asked the Senate to quickly confirm Kavanaugh to the court.
Prior to his position on the U.S. Court of Appeals, Kavanaugh served as an aide to President George W. Bush and in the 1990s was a clerk to Kennedy. He graduated from Yale as an undergraduate and Yale Law School. He also teaches law at Harvard, Yale and Georgetown, Trump said in his announcement.
Kavanaugh said he learned from his mother the importance of “equality for all Americans.” Both of his parents practiced law, he said. Kavanaugh described his “judicial philosophy” by saying a “judge must be independent and must interpret the law, not make the law.” He said a judge must interpret statutes and the constitution “as written, informed by history, and tradition, and precedent.” He also said he believes and teaches that the constitution’s separation of powers “protects individual liberty.”
Kavanaugh said that if confirmed by the Senate, he would “keep an open mind in every case,” and “always strive to preserve the constitution of the United States and the rule of law.”