President Donald Trump announced Brett Kavanaugh as his Supreme Court nominee Monday night, in a primetime televised event. Judge Kavanaugh, a U.S. Circuit Court judge for Washington, D.C., would fill the vacant seat left by retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, who announced his departure in late June.
Calling Trump’s Supreme Court nomination an “honor and privilege,” Kavanaugh addressed a crowd in the White House’s East Room alongside his wife and two daughters. “A judge must interpret the law, not make the law,” Kavanaugh said. If approved by the Senate, he would become the fifth conservative justice on the nation’s highest court.
On the issues, Kavanaugh seems to tick many of the boxes of interest to Trump, who included him on a list of potential Supreme Court picks published by the White House in November 2017.
Age was an important factor in making Trump’s Supreme Court list; Kavanaugh is 53 years old, which would guarantee a measure of longevity on the court, if he is approved by Congress.
Kavanaugh’s views on impeachment could be controversial and of interest to Trump. The Supreme Court nominee argued in the past that President Bill Clinton could have been impeached for lying to and misleading both his staff and the public at large. But after working in the George W. Bush administration, Kavanaugh’s stance has softened, reports The Washington Post. Kavanaugh now reportedly believes court proceedings against a sitting president should be deferred until after he or she is out of office.
“The indictment and trial of a sitting President, moreover, would cripple the federal government, rendering it unable to function with credibility in either the international or domestic arenas,” Kavanaugh wrote in a 2012 piece titled “Separation of Powers During the FortyFourth Presidency and Beyond” for the Minnesota Law Review.
In addition to opposing abortion rights, Kavanaugh is also reportedly against net neutrality, according to an article from Motherboard.
If confirmed, Kavanaugh will become Trump’s second Supreme Court appointment. Justice Neil Gorsuch was Trump’s Supreme Court pick in 2017.
Kavanaugh was among four potential nominees Trump interviewed for the lifetime appointment. The list also included Amy Coney Barrett, Amul Thapar and Raymond Kethledge. Thomas Hardiman, a runner up for Gorsuch’s seat, also reportedly met with Trump, reports TIME.