Who Is Brett Kavanaugh? What to Know About Trump's Supreme Court Nominee
Five things you need to know about President Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh
President Trump has picked Brett Kavanaugh as his Supreme Court justice nominee.
The president announced Kavanaugh was his pick for the high-court bench late Monday night.
If approved by the Senate, the Bethesda-native with political ties would take the seat of Justice Anthony Kennedy, who shocked the nation when he announced his retirement on June 27.
This will be Trump’s second high-court pick; he nominated the typically conservative Neil Gorsuch in July 2017 to succeed Justice Antonin Scalia following his death.
Here’s what you need to know about Trump’s nominee:
Kavanaugh is a “DC insider”
Now a federal appeals court judge in Washington D.C., Kavanaugh grew up in Bethesda, Maryland, and went to the Georgetown Preparatory School — the same high school as President Trump’s first nominee, Neil M. Gorsuch. Kavanaugh earned both his undergraduate and law degrees at Yale University. He later served a law clerk to retiring Justice Kennedy in 1993. In fact, Kennedy also swore Kavanaugh into the federal appeals court.
He is a father of two
The 53-year-old nominee has two daughters with his wife, Ashley. Kavanaugh is a coach for his daughters’ basketball teams, and the family of four is active in their local Catholic church, the New York Times reported.
He helped impeach President Bill Clinton
The judge worked with independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr on the investigation that led to President Bill Clinton’s impeachment. At the time, Kavanaugh wrote in a report to Starr that President Clinton should be impeached both for “lying to his staff and misleading the public,” the New York Times reported.
But he later seemingly reversed his opinion, according to the Times, writing that presidents shouldn’t have to deal with criminal investigations or civil lawsuits while in office.
He has ties to the Bush family
Kavanaugh served as the White House lawyer and staff secretary to President George W. Bush. His wife, Ashley Estes Kavanaugh, was President Bush’s personal secretary.
The relationship has prompted concern from both sides of the aisle that Kavanaugh may be too partisan.
Conservatives worry he is not quite conservative enough
There is debate over Kavanaugh’s stance on abortion, as he never directly confronted the issue as a judge.
He recently dissented in an appeals court decision that allowed an undocumented pregnant teen to get an abortion, but his dissent did not go so far as to say choosing to have an abortion is unconstitutional, according to Politico.
Kavanaugh’s stance on the Affordable Care Act is also concerning to conservatives, as the judge dissented from a D.C. Circuit decision upholding the act for technical and jurisdictional reasons.
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