US President Donald Trump revealed DC Circuit Federal Appeals Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh as his nominee to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy in a prime-time address to the nation on Monday night.
The conservative judge served as a clerk to Kennedy in the early 1990s alongside fellow Trump Supreme Court appointee Neil Gorsuch and served in George W. Bush’s White House.
Trump called him one of the “sharpest legal minds of our time.”
“There is no one more qualified for this position, and no one more deserving,” Trump said, calling for “robust bipartisan support” and a “swift confirmation.”
Republican leadership was quick to praise the selection, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) calling Trump’s choice “superb” in a statement.
“He is widely admired for his intellect, experience, and exemplary judicial temperament,” McConnell said. “He has won the respect of his peers and is highly regarded throughout the legal community. And his judicial record demonstrates a firm understanding of the role of a judge in our Republic: Setting aside personal views and political preferences in order to interpret our laws as they are written.”
Democrats’ disapproval, however, was put bluntly by the party’s leader in the Senate Chuck Schumer (D-NY) as he vowed to “oppose Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination with everything I have.”