Trump picks conservative judge Kavanaugh for U.S

  • Trump picks conservative judge Kavanaugh for U.S

Trump picks conservative judge Kavanaugh for U.S

Mike Lee received a phone call Monday from President Donald Trump telling him he would not be his nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, the Deseret News has learned.

"No matter how intense the incoming fire, he'll stand by his legal principles", said Justin Walker, an assistant professor at the University of Louisville who clerked for Kavanaugh in 2010 and 2011.

The president said: "Judge Kavanaugh has impeccable credentials, unsurpassed qualifications and a proven commitment to equal justice under the law".

Trump's success in confirming conservative judges, as well as a Supreme Court justice, has cheered Republicans amid concerns about his limited policy achievements and chaotic management style.

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.

Republicans control the Senate by a 51-49 majority, making any efforts by Democrats to thwart Trump's nominee an uphill battle. Susan Collins, of ME, to speak out, told Stephanopoulos last week that a candidate who would overturn Roe v. Wade "would not be acceptable", because it indicates an "activist agenda" she didn't want to see in a judge.

The White House invited a number of senators to attend the Monday night announcement. Jon Kyl would guide Trump's nominee through the grueling Senate process.

With the judges on the short list all no older than 53, the person selected could realistically be expected to serve for three decades or more and could be involved in the reconsideration of significant precedents, including the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion-rights decision.

Besides records from his 12 years as an appellate judge, Kavanaugh was a top adviser to President George W. Bush and worked for Kenneth Starr on the years-long Whitewater investigation into Bill and Hillary Clinton. He has another potential advantage: he serves with Judge Maryanne Trump Barry - the president's sister - on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the majority leader, has tried to warn the president through gentle nudging that Hardiman and Kethledge would be the safest choices for confirmation.

White House spokesman Raj Shah said in a statement that Kyl "has agreed to serve as the Sherpa for the President's nominee to the Supreme Court".

The confirmation process promises to be a fight, and Republicans have a narrow 51-49 majority - with nearly no room to lose votes as Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona remains absent while fighting brain cancer. The court's senior liberal justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, is 85.

Trump is hoping to replicate his successful nomination of Justice Gorsuch past year. "A judge must interpret statutes as written and a judge must interpret the constitution as written", Kavanaugh said during the ceremony in which he underscored his ties to his family and his Roman Catholic faith.

Two months after his last Senate term ended in early 2013, Kyl announced that he was joining Covington & Burling, the well-known lobbying firm. But Senate Democrats held up his confirmation for three years, accusing him of being a Bush political operative.

Kavanaugh, who Illinois Democratic Sen.