February 18, 2019

Red State Democrats In Hot Seat Over Trump's Supreme Court Pick

11 July 2018, 02:35 | Devin Moran

A 'Supreme' show: Trump savors big reveal for court choice

US President Donald Trump confers with the media upon arrival at Morristown Municipal Airport in Morristown New Jersey

"I look forward to meeting soon with Judge Kavanaugh", said Senator Gardner.

While some Democrats promised a stern effort to block the 53-year-old Kavanaugh - who has served 12 years on the most influential US appeals court - Trump's fellow Republicans control the Senate by a narrow margin and can ensure confirmation if they avoid defections from their ranks. Many preferred one of the candidates who had worked outside Washington, despite their less sterling resumes.

The announcement will set in a motion a brutal - and expensive - political battle over Trump's supreme court nominee. Last year, Trump said he was drawn to his first appointee, Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, because he had degrees from Columbia, Harvard and Oxford.

Just hours before Trump was expected to announce his nominee to replace the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, the New York Democrat took to the Senate floor to demand whomever Trump selects as his nominee, "U.S. Senators and the American people should expect an affirmative statement of support" for the 1973 ruling that legalized abortion.

Orrin Hatch, Utah's senior senator, called Kavanaugh "an outstanding choice".

After being announced as the nominee by Trump Monday, Kavanaugh said he would "keep an open mind in every case and I will always strive to preserve the Constitution of the United States and the American rule of law".

"He has shown a deep commitment to the separation of powers and to both the First and Second Amendment".

Outside the Supreme Court on Monday night, hundreds of people protested heatedly over Kavanaugh's nomination. Feinstein is the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. The group's Carrie Severino said they spent $10 million on the campaign for Gorsuch, and indicted they would be prepared to spend a similar amount if necessary to win the confirmation of the next justice.

Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, also praised Kavanaugh.

Trump promised Sunday to choose an "exceptional person" for the post, but some Democrats were already signalling blanket opposition. I think they'd be fine justices of the Supreme Court. And I voted against some based on what I heard in the hearings. He said Trump had a plethora of excellent candidates and Republicans could support any one of them.

More than the other potential nominees, Hardiman has a strong record in favor of gun rights.

"I don't want to say the four", he said. The other finalists, also federal appeals court judges, were Amy Coney Barrett of Indiana, Thomas Hardiman of Pennsylvania and Raymond Kethledge of MI.

If Collins and Murkowski vote "no" and Democrats all vote "no", the nomination would be blocked.

Indeed, the pressure will be on Donnelly and other red state Democrats to perhaps buck their party's wishes and confirm Trump's nominee.

Lily Eskelsen Garcia - president of the National Education Association, a former Utah teacher of the year and former Utah Education Association president - was not pleased with Trump's selection.

Relishing the guessing game beyond the White House gates, Trump had little to say about his choice. "And a judge must interpret the Constitution as written, informed by history, and tradition and precedent", Kavanaugh said during the ceremony in which he emphasized his family and his Roman Catholic faith. "In fact, before being nominated, he was vetted and approved by the Heritage Foundation - a corporate-funded organization that seeks to end the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and Medicaid; strives to weaken workers' rights and to silence their voices in the workplaces; and advocates to replace our public schools with vouchers that funnel public funding to private religious schools".

Like the 50-year-old Gorsuch, Kavanaugh potentially could serve on the high court for decades.

He also has expressed a broad interpretation of what constitutes obstruction of justice, a position which could be risky if the Russian Federation investigation leads to impeachable allegations against Trump.

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