President Donald Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court in a prime-time announcement Monday night. If confirmed by the Senate, Kavanaugh would replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy to give the court a likely solid 5-4 conservative majority.
“Throughout legal circles, he is considered a judge’s judge, a true thought leader among his peers,” Trump said in announcing his choice at the East Room of the White House.
President George W. Bush nominated Kavanaugh to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2003, but he wasn’t confirmed until 2006, by a Senate vote of 57-36. The D.C. Circuit is considered a stepping stone to the high court.
“My judicial philosophy is straightforward,” Kavanaugh, 53, said after Trump introduced him at the White House event. “A judge must be independent and must interpret the law and not make the law. A judge must interpret statutes as written. A judge must interpret the Constitution as written, informed by history and tradition and precedent.”
Here are eight things to know about the likely next Supreme Court justice.
1. Clerk for the Man He Could Replace
Kavanagh, a graduate of Yale University Law School, once clerked for the man he hopes to replace on the high court, Justice Anthony Kennedy.
In introducing the judge, Trump said: “Just like Justice [Neil] Gorsuch, he excelled as a clerk for Justice Kennedy.”
“Justice Kennedy devoted his career to securing liberty,” Kavanaugh said. “I am deeply honored to be nominated to fill his seat on the Supreme Court.”
Kavanaugh also clerked for Judge Alex Kozinski of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit and for Judge Walter Stapleton of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit.
2. The First Judge Kavanaugh
Kavanaugh talked about his mother, who was a teacher in two predominantly black D.C. schools before becoming a prosecutor.
“My introduction to law came at our dinner table when she practiced her closing argument,” Kavanaugh said. “Her trademark line was, ‘Use your common sense. What rings true, what rings false?’” he said at the White House.
“That’s good advice for a juror and a son. One of the few women prosecutors at that time, she overcame barriers and became a trial judge. The president introduced me tonight as Judge Kavanaugh. But, to me, that title will always belong to my mom.”
His father also went to law school at night while working full time.
3. A Majority of Female Clerks
Kavanaugh, who praised his wife Ashley and two young daughters, Margaret and Liza, also talked about being proud to have hired more female law clerks than male clerks.
“As a judge, I hire four law clerks each year. I look for the best,” Kavanaugh said.
“My law clerks come from diverse backgrounds and points of view. I am proud that a majority of my law clerks have been women.”
4. They Call Him Coach K
When he’s not judging cases, Kavanaugh coaches his “spirited” daughters’ basketball teams.
“For the past seven years, I’ve coached my daughters’ basketball teams. The girls on the team call me Coach K,” he told the East Room crowd, to laughter.
Read the full story from The Daily Signal
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