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U.S. Supreme Court nominee has been a foe of emissions rules

10 July 2018

Trump on Monday nominated District of Columbia Court of Appeals Judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill the impending vacancy of retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on the high court.

He is expected to face strong opposition from Democrats, who already have called Kavanaugh and the other court finalists too conservative. The campaign follows an earlier one from the organization-entitled "Another Great Justice" and costing seven figures-that was launched the day after Justice Kennedy announced his retirement.

Hearings for the most recent nominees to the Supreme Court have lasted four or five days, though there were 11 days of hearings for Robert Bork's nomination in 1987.

Kavanaugh, along with two GOP-appointed colleagues wrote: "The Government has permissible interests in favoring fetal life, protecting the best interests of a minor, and refraining from facilitating abortion", adding that the decision was "a radical extension of the Supreme Court's abortion jurisprudence". Senate Republicans hold only a 51-49 majority, leaving them hardly any margin if Democrats hold the line. Kavanaugh's nomination "sets in motion a hard right turn for the country that may be irreversible in our lifetime", said Nan Aron, the president of Alliance for Justice, a liberal group that has studied Kavanaugh's judicial opinions.

Still, Trump has recounted how close he came to selecting Hardiman, who was recommended by the president's sister and sometime confidante, retired federal judge Maryanne Trump Barry.

Republican Sen. Rand Paul reportedly took issue with Kavanaugh's rulings on health care, which could be a concern due to Republicans' small margin for error in the Senate.

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In preparing for the unveiling, Trump aides are inviting senators who will vote on the nominee to the White House ceremony, including moderate Democrats who will be targeted as possible yes votes.

"I am disappointed in the president because this is not the type of person that he said he would pick", Napolitano said.

Over on MSNBC, Maddow's coverage looked markedly different, with discussions of the successful Republican effort to block a vote on President Barack Obama 's last Supreme Court nominee, and the ongoing investigation into the Trump campaign's contact with Russian Federation.

Kavanaugh said that if he's confirmed, he "will keep an open mind in every case" and "always strive to preserve the Constitution of the United States and the American rule of law".

Monday night, striding into the East Room, a cockpit of presidential lore where John F. Kennedy's body lay in repose and Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, Trump lifted his chin, narrowed his eyes and savored his moment in history.

Like Trump's first nominee previous year, Justice Neil Gorsuch, Kavanaugh would be a young addition who could help remake the court for decades to come with rulings that could restrict abortion, expand gun rights and roll back key parts of Obamacare.

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The liberal coalition started holding events on Monday, before the announcement was made, with a focus on the twin issues of keeping abortion legal and maintaining insurance protections for people with preexisting conditions, which are the subject of a federal court case that could eventually reach the Supreme Court. First with Justice Gorsuch, and now, if confirmed, with Judge Kavanaugh.

The 53-year-old has served as a Court of Appeals judge since 2006. With his benefactor looming behind him, he continued with this bit of sycophantic hyperbole: "No president has ever consulted more widely, or talked with more people from more backgrounds, to seek input about a Supreme Court nomination".

"He's got a story that's compelling beyond the taxicab", former senator Rick Santorum, R-Pa., a friend of Hardiman's, said in an interview.

It's common for a major nomination to trigger a paperwork avalanche during the laborious Senate confirmation process, which will see Kavanaugh having one-on-one meetings with influential senators before he testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will vote to send his nomination to the Senate floor.

Democrats who plan to oppose Trump's nominee are focusing on two Republican moderates, Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, hoping to turn them against Trump's selection.

Kennedy's departure "leaves the court in a calcified state of a hardened left and right with nobody in that middle position", says Jonathan Turley, a George Washington University constitutional law professor. Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, which Trump won by 42 percentage points.

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U.S. Supreme Court nominee has been a foe of emissions rules