Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Democratic senator leaves door slightly open to voting for Kavanaugh

Democratic senator leaves door slightly open to voting for Kavanaugh

President Donald Trump has decided on his Supreme Court nominee, a person with knowledge of the situation revealed Monday, hours before a prime-time TV announcement that will ignite a fierce confirmation battle.

US President Donald Trump is still deliberating on Supreme Court pick.

Kavanaugh, 53, had always been mentioned in Washington chatter as a potential high court choice by a Republican president because of his educational background, intellectual firepower and an unyielding commitment to a legal approach championed by conservative Supreme Court justices such as Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. He is hoping to replicate his successful announcement of Justice Neil Gorsuch previous year. Other Democrats who represent heavily Republican states will also be under pressure to support the nominee. Kyl also was a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will hold a hearing on Trump's choice for the court.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said opponents were using "40-year-old scare tactics" over abortion and other issues but they "will not stop us from doing the right thing". Barrett has said she believes life begins at conception. The president has spent the days leading up to his announcement discussing the pros and cons of various contenders with aides and allies.

Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of SC and Roy Blunt of Missouri said Sunday that they believe any of the top four contenders could get confirmed by the GOP-majority Senate.

Democrats have sounded the alarm that Trump could shift the ideological balance of the court and thereby place women's reproductive rights, health care and LGBT rights at risk.

According to the DC Circuit Court website, Kavanaugh volunteers, attends church, and coaches sports in the Washington, DC area, where he was born and raised.

The White House is hoping the Senate moves quickly to confirm Kavanaugh before the midterm elections in November threaten to unfurl the narrow Republican majority in the chamber and nix the precious leverage the GOP holds over some red state Democrats up for reelection in 2018. Barry served alongside Hardiman as a federal appeals judge on the 3rd Circuit before stepping down a year ago.

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The nominee made no mention of his leanings in brief remarks at the White House, where he was joined by his wife and their two daughters.

Trump's decision stands to be among the most consequential of his presidency as he seeks to shape the high court to his conservative leanings for decades to come.

Leonard Leo, who is on leave from the Federalist Society and has been advising Trump over the court nomination, said he assumes Kavanaugh, Barrett, Hardiman and Kethledge "are the four" who are getting the most focus.

Kavanaugh worked for Kenneth Starr, the independent counsel whose investigation of Clinton helped spur an effort by congressional Republicans in 1998 and 1999 to impeach the Democratic president and remove him from office. Now, however, FRC head Tony Perkins seems somewhat less enthusiastic because of Kavanaugh's abortion ruling, a sign that he may not endorse overturning Roe v. Wade outright.

"There is no one in America more qualified for this position, and no one more deserving", Trump said of Kavanaugh on Monday night.

Legal experts say his work on the D.C. Circuit bolsters his conservative credentials, but it also gives Democrats plenty of fodder on controversial topics in the looming confirmation fight such as a woman's access to abortion, gun rights, consumer protections and environmental regulations.

"I've never seen a president of the United States in effect make himself a puppet of outside groups and choose from a group of right-wing fringe ideologues", he said on ABC's "This Week".

Kethledge, a former Kennedy law clerk, has sat on the 6th Circuit since 2008 after being nominated by George W. Bush.

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