“For these and other reasons, we are calling on citizens to urge their senators to firmly oppose the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh as a Justice on the United States Supreme Court”.
While the president has been pondering his choice, his aides have been preparing for what is expected to be a tough confirmation fight.
Mr Kavanaugh has served on the DC Circuit Court since 2006, and has a strong conservative record on issues of protecting gun ownership, opposing a ban on semi-automatic rifles and showing scepticism over environmental regulations put in place by the Obama administration. He is hoping to replicate his successful announcement of Justice Neil Gorsuch a year ago.
With the Senate’s Republican leadership saying it aims to complete the confirmation process before November’s midterm elections, Democrats were nearing panic mode. Kavanaugh now reportedly believes court proceedings against a sitting president should be deferred until after he or she is out of office.
With a short list of candidates already in hand, Trump has moved quickly to select his nominee, just 12 days after Kennedy announced his retirement.
This time, the Republicans have a simple majority in the Senate (51 votes needed), but in an election year anything can happen.
Republicans may have a narrower margin for error than they did when the Senate confirmed Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, by a vote of 54-45 in April 2017. Hardiman, who lives in Pennsylvania, is a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit, where he served at one time with Trump’s sister, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry.
Hardiman, the first person in his family to go to college, earned his law degree at Georgetown University and has been a federal judge since 2007.
McConnell reportedly spoke often to Trump and White House general counsel Don McGahn throughout the selection process and was anxious about the vast number of documents Kavanaugh had amassed during his 12 years on the D.C. appeals court could prove problematic.
The White House guest list for the Monday night announcement includes Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and another committee member, John Kennedy, R-La.
In his presidency of less than two years, this would be his second Supreme Court judge nomination.
Schumer and other Democratic senators have blasted Trump for having chosen Kavanaugh from a list pre-approved by rightwing outside groups, including the conservative Federalist Society.
But Kavanaugh, who grew up in Washington as the son of a schoolteacher, has the reputation of a staunch conservative, one who many Republicans no doubt hope could help overturn Roe v Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that guarantees women the right to an abortion.
In his conversations over the weekend, Trump expressed renewed interest in Hardiman _ the runner-up when Trump nominated Gorsuch, said two people with knowledge of his thinking who were not authorized to speak publicly.
“He made a statement that really gives one some pause about what he’d do when he’s on the Supreme Court as opposed to an appellate court”, former Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli told Politico last week. I’ve always gone in there assuming that the judge – he’s going to make up their mind based on the facts and what they hear, not based on a political litmus test requires.
Kavanaugh, 53, began his career as a clerk to Kennedy.
Barrett, who is 46, has less of a judicial record to review, having just been nominated to the appeals court by Trump a year ago.