Supreme Court nominee would shield Trump from Russian Federation probe: Democrats

Trump picks Kavanaugh for court setting up fight with Dems

A right-leaning Supreme Court would be one of Trump's lasting legacies and highly prized gift to his conservative base after he past year delivered his first Supreme Court justice, Neil Gorsuch.

Kavanaugh, a Catholic, was careful to make himself sound open-minded, reasonable, and apolitical, although, as Quartz's Heather Timmons noted, he's "played a role in several of the most important partisan battles in U.S. politics over the past 20 years".

Rep. Adam Schiff, ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, tweeted "Ever mindful of his self-interest, Trump has picked Brett Kavanaugh, who once wrote that he didn't believe a sitting President should be subject to criminal investigation or prosecution. Thanks to decades of high-level experience and close observation, Kavanaugh also understands the intricacies of the executive and legislative branches".

The judge emphasized that no one is above the law, but he pointed out that the Constitution already provides a solution if there's a scoundrel in the White House.

Brown, a prominent liberal voice, said he had some "serious concerns" about Kavanaugh's rulings - but insisted he hasn't made a decision.

Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey spoke with 7News about Kavanaugh and said that "he will become a rubber stamp for a conservative, right-wing agenda".

The 53-year-old would replace the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, who often served as a swing vote for liberals on social issues like gay marriage and abortion.

U.S. Senator from California Kamala Harris issued a statement saying she would oppose Kavanaugh's nomination. Senate Republicans hold only a 51-49 majority, leaving them hardly any margin if Democrats hold the line.

Some Republican senators had favored other options.

Demand Justice, a liberal group formed to counter JCN's influence, has not committed to a particular dollar figure but has placed ads in Alaska and ME targeting Murkowski and Collins. "I think there's a process we have to go through, our members want to get acquainted with him, they want to meet him, they want to ask him questions".

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"There is no one in America more qualified for this position and no one more deserving", Trump said in announcing his nomination at the White House, urging the Senate to swiftly confirm his nominee. In the latest JCN salvo, totaling $1.4 million, the group will air a spot highlighting Kavanaugh's biography in Alabama, North Dakota, Indiana and West Virginia - red states with Democratic senators.

As of Tuesday, only one Senate Democrat up for re-election in a state that Trump won has announced that he's a no vote: Sen. The site's headline says it all: "Democrats' Senate dream slips away".

At the top of that list is abortion.

Collins has said she will not support a nominee who has "demonstrated hostility" to the court's decision in Roe, and she has said she generally wants a clear commitment from the nominee to respect court precedent.

Trump praised his record when he nominated him: 'Judge Kavanaugh has impeccable credentials, unsurpassed qualifications and a proven commitment to equal justice under the law'. Since 2006, he has been a judge on the federal appeals court in Washington.

He also served on President George W. Bush's legal team during the contentious Florida recount following the 2000 presidential election.

He added: "This nominee was hand-picked by anti-LGBTQ, anti-choice groups in an explicit effort to undermine equality - and the prospect of a Justice Kavanaugh threatens to erode our nation's civil rights laws, block transgender troops from bravely serving this nation and allow a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people in every aspect of American life".

On average, for Supreme Court nominees who have received hearings, the hearing occurred 39 days after the nomination was formally submitted, according to the Congressional Research Service.

If he were to be confirmed, some critics worry that judicial philosophy could enable Trump to avoid having to testify in special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

"Tonight's announcement is only a first step", Jones posted on Twitter Monday night. "Judge Kavanaugh has the qualifications that make him immensely qualified to take a seat on the highest court in the land". That's Republicans and Democrats alike.

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