In what was a made-for-television moment on Monday evening, President Trump made what is considered the most consequential move by any seating US President by announcing his pick for the next Justice on the Supreme Court of The United States (SCOTUS) during prime-time viewing.


After a 12-day whirlwind search for the appropriate candidate, Trump appointed Brett Kavanaugh, a 53-year old Appeals Court Judge from Bethesda, Maryland to replace 81-year old Justice Anthony Kennedy who announced his retirement on June 27.

Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch and his wife Marie Louise Gorsuch at The White House.  Credit: Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla

Judge Kavanaugh is President Trump’s second appointment to the nation’s highest judicial body in less than 2 years in office, a lifetime appointment for the lucky jurist who manages to make it through a vicious and contentious confirmation process.  Hence the intrigue and spectacle that goes with the nomination.

Brett Kavanaugh (2nd Left) was one of the final four Judges of President Trump’s potential Supreme Court nominees.  Federal Appeals Court jurists L-R: Raymond Kethledge, Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, and Thomas Hardiman.  Credit: REUTERS

“Judge Kavanaugh has impeccable credentials, unsurpassed qualifications and a proven commitment to equal justice under the law,” said the President during the announcement and introductory ceremony.

“There is no one in America more qualified for this position and no one more deserving,” he added.

“Throughout legal circles he’s considered a Judges’ judge and a true Thought Leader among his peers.

“He’s a brilliant jurist with a clear and effective writing style, universally regarded as one of the finest and sharpest legal minds of our time.”

President Trump congratulates Judge Brett Kavanaugh at the White House, July 9, 2018.

Trump then sent a message to the Senate that Kavanaugh “deserves a swift confirmation and robust bipartisan support.”

In response, Judge Kavanaugh thanked the President saying he was “grateful” and “humbled” by his “confidence” in him adding, he was “deeply honoured” to be nominated to replace Justice Kennedy who was considered a swing vote in the 9 Judge Supreme Court.

Judicial Philosophy

Judge Brett Kavanaugh and his family at The White House, July 9, 2018. Credit: Reuters

In his acceptance speech, Kavanaugh laid out his judicial philosophy in unequivocal terms.  A principled Conservative, a Constitutional originalist, a family man and a devout Catholic, he said the following:

“My judicial philosophy is straightforward. A Judge must be independent and must interpret the law, not make the law. A Judge must interpret Statutes as written. And a judge must interpret the Constitution as written, informed by history, and tradition and precedent.”

Why It Matters

Supreme Court nominations and confirmations are a contentious issue in the U.S. Above: The US Supreme Court. Credit: Getty Images/Robert Alexander

If confirmed, Liberals fear that Kavanaugh’s appointment may shift the Supreme Court substantially to the right, a move that will certainly please Conservatives, Evangelicals and Christians as well as other religious organizations that voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump to be the President solely for this purpose.

Nominating a Supreme Court Justice is certainly one, if not the most important role and defining moment of any U.S. Presidency because of the potential impact to change the direction and course of the nation for a generation or more.  That is why the confirmation process is is often vicious with this one expected to be a battle royale fought along partisan lines.



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