Sen. Casey Comes Out Against Trump Nominee Before Pick is Announced

10 July, 2018, 05:32 | Author: Wade Massey

US President Donald Trump has nominated federal appeals Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court.

He is the kind of judge a President Jeb Bush or Mitt Romney would have picked - a man with an established legal pedigree and a reputation as a reliably conservative jurist.

"I was lucky. My mum was a teacher in the 1960s and 1970s, she taught history at two largely African American public high schools in Washington DC, McKinlay Tech and HD Woodson", Judge Kavanaugh said. Some conservative activists have questioned whether he would rule sufficiently aggressively as a justice.

The president has been lobbied in the final hours of his selection process by both supporters and opponents of the four candidates, all of whom are federal appeals court judges with conservative records.

Trump prefaced the reveal with a brief address, saying that like President Reagan before him, he was looking for "judges who apply the Constitution as written". The court could also be called upon to render judgment on issues of personal significance to Trump and his administration including matters arising from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing Russia-related investigation and several civil lawsuits pending against Trump.

Casey faces Republican Lou Barletta, who was endorsed by President Trump about three months before the state's primary election this past May.

Trump announced his pick on prime-time television, calling Kavanaugh "a judge's judge" with a "proven commitment to equal justice under the law".

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His appointment will not change the ideological tilt of a court that already has a 5-4 conservative majority, but he could nevertheless shift the bench further right. Kavanaugh, who serves on the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, is expected to be less receptive to abortion and gay rights than Kennedy was.

Casey is one of the handful of so-called "Red State" Democratic senators who are running for reelection in a state carried by the president in the 2016 election, and who are seen as especially vulnerable this election cycle as a result.

That means that, if Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is able to hold the Democrats together for a unified opposition vote, Republicans will need every member of their caucus to vote for the nominee - which isn't necessarily a guarantee.

The White House guest list for the Monday night announcement includes Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and another committee member, John Kennedy, R-La. He's a flawless 21 for 21 in confirming the federal appeals-court nominees of President Trump, with more to come this year.

The potential Supreme Court justice sided against net neutrality in a 2017 dissent, arguing that it was "one of the most consequential regulations ever issued by any executive or independent agency in the history of the United States". Gorsuch restored the court's conservative majority.

Trump has previously said he wanted "pro-life" justices opposed to abortion rights.

McConnell has said he hopes to have a justice in place by the opening of the court's new term in October, and it's possible that a voluminous paper trail could add more time to the review - or at least give Democrats a little more traction on efforts to delay the proceedings.

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