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Trump names conservative judge Brett Kavanaugh as Supreme Court nominee
10 July 2018, 05:41 | Devin Moran
Allies of Judge Thomas Hardiman have been told to start touting him for confirmation - report
President Donald Trump on Monday announced Brett Kavanaugh as his nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, picking a conservative federal appeals court judge who survived a previous tough Senate confirmation battle and helped investigate Democratic former President Bill Clinton in the 1990s.
Judge Kavanaugh, who is married with two daughters, served as a senior White House official under the George W Bush presidency before he was nominated to the appeals court in 2003.
Kyl has a wealth of experience in the Senate, which will be needed as the president's nominee is expected to face an intense confirmation battle.
Some conservatives have expressed concerns about Kavanaugh - a longtime judge and former clerk for Justice Kennedy - questioning his commitment to social issues like abortion and noting his time serving under President George W. Bush as evidence he is a more establishment choice. Kennedy provided a decisive vote in 2015 on an important fair housing case.
Kavanaugh also argued in 2009 that presidents "should not be distracted by civil lawsuits, criminal investigations or even questions from a prosecutor or defense attorney while in office" - a position that is sure to raise eyebrows given special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians.
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's views on presidential power and abortion are expected to draw particular attention in his confirmation hearing.
The senators have stayed mum on whether they're planning to support Trump's nominee, saying they'll wait until after he announces to weigh in.
Before retiring in 2013, Kyl was a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will be the first to consider the nomination. The nomination is poised to cement the Supreme Court's conservative majority, vastly reshaping the court for decades to come.
Trump spoke to reporters Sunday afternoon before returning to Washington from a weekend at his private golf club in New Jersey, where he deliberated his decision amid furious lobbying and frenzied speculation.
Whomever is nominated will be the second Justice selected by Trump; Neil Gorsuch was nominated in April 2017 to succeed the late Judge Antonin Scalia.
Kyl also has close ties to many of his colleagues from his time as the No. 2 Senate Republican leader.
"Judge Kavanaugh has devoted his life to public service", Trump said in a televised address from the east room of the White House.
The president has spent the days leading up to the decision mulling the pros and cons of the various options with aides and allies.
The White House invited a number of senators to attend the Monday night announcement.
Here are three things you should know about Kavanaugh as he heads into the confirmation process.
Republicans now hold a 51-seat majority and are down a vote, with GOP Sen.
Democrats have turned their attention to pressuring two Republicans, Collins and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, to oppose any nominee who threatens Roe v. Wade. The White House has been preparing information materials on all four, who were part of a longer list of 25 names vetted by conservative groups.
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