Brett Kavanaugh visits Senate as confirmation fight begins


Outside Trump Tower in Midtown, demonstrators gathered to protest the potential shift of the Supreme Court to the right.

Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD, said: "If confirmed, Brett Kavanaugh will have the chance to codify President Trump and Vice President Pence's unsafe anti-LGBTQ record and the agenda of anti-LGBTQ groups into law for decades to come".

The majority of the D.C. Circuit panel disagreed with that reasoning, noting that the Supreme Court had ruled in a 1984 case that undocumented workers were indeed employees for the purposes of collective bargaining law. Kavanaugh served in the Bush administration, including as the president's staff secretary. However, in a Monday night tweet, the group's long-time president, Fred Krupp, proposed that senators ask Kavanaugh whether he will "honor access to the courts to address pollution", as well as honoring "the established protections forged in law to address poisons in air, water and food including the clear [and] present danger of climate pollution?" He served for two years as Senior Associate Counsel and Associate Counsel to the President.

At 53, Kavanaugh is relatively young. Democrats plan to pressure two moderate Senate Republicans, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of ME, to oppose the nomination. He is a connected Washington insider with roots in politics and has written more than 300 opinions in the 12 years he has been on the D.C. Circuit.

In one of them, Kavanaugh ruled against a group of Verizon employees represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

"My judicial philosophy is straightforward", he said.

Speaking at the White House, Kavanaugh pledged to preserve the Constitution and said that "a judge must be independent and must interpret the law, not make the law". Tonight's selection of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who was included on this list, seems to be the culmination of a process that further erodes traditional norms.

Many Democrats fear that Kavanaugh's conservative credentials - in a bench that is now tied 4-4 between liberal and conservative justices- will tilt the court right for the foreseeable future, allowing a rewriting of everything from hard won rights on abortion to same-sex marriage.

Compared to some of Trump's other options, Kavanaugh is "more of a moderate conservative", McDaniel said: he is a textualist and originalist, but also says he would adhere to precedent. The pick came less than two weeks after Kennedy announced he would retire.

Leaving McConnell's office, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, said no decisions had been made about requesting documents from the White House. They want their politburo.

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"President Trump is a realist about the world", Pence said. Chuck Schumer and members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He needs only one Republican to switch if Arizona Sen.

"This incredibly qualified nominee deserves a swift confirmation and robust, bipartisan support", Trump said. Thomas, at 70, is the oldest of the court's remaining Republican appointees.

"I look forward to the process in the Senate, getting to know Judge Kavanaugh and his family better in coming months, and, hopefully, voting to confirm him to the Supreme Court in the fall", Sen.

Joe Manchin, a West Virginia senator, said: "I believe the Senate..." And all three are running for re-election in November in states Trump won. Trump also has suggested he could pardon himself. Susan Collins of ME is up for reelection in 2020, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska faces voters in 2022, and we have no particular reason to think either is ready to retire any time soon.

Primus said it's unlikely the Supreme Court's decision legalizing same-sex marriage would be overturned, but speculated that Roe v. Wade is "somewhere between in danger and definitely gone".

That is one reason many Democrats are demanding an all-out battle to block Trump's nominee. Trump reportedly was wary of Kavanaugh's close ties to George W. Bush, who nominated him to his current position in 2003.

Kavanaugh made a reference to his experience with the Starr Report, which said that president Bill Clinton lied under oath in Clinton vs. Jones regarding his sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky, obstructed justice, and refused to testify.

McConnell and Trump were rewarded this year with a string of 5-4 decisions in which Gorsuch cast votes favorable to the president and the GOP.

Meanwhile the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage - which has long advocated a strategy of stacking the Supreme Court with conservatives in order to undermine rulings on LGBT equality - is jubilant at the pick. And the president moved swiftly to fill those openings with young, conservative judges.

Kavanaugh, a conservative appeals court judge, did not respond to questions.