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Who Is Judge Brett Kavanaugh?

Who Is Judge Brett Kavanaugh?
Judge Brett Kavanaugh in 2006 (Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 28 June 2018 12:40 PM

A leading contender to become President Trump's next choice to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court is Judge Brett Kavanaugh, a judicial conservative.

Kavanaugh, who serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, has been named on a short list of 25 potential SCOTUS nominees released by the Trump administration in November.

He is now believed to be a on an even smaller White House list of five potential nominees.

Kavanaugh is just 53 and his selection could imprint the Trump legacy on the High Court for more than a generation.

Before joining the judiciary, Kavanaugh was best known as a protégé of prosecutor Kenneth Starr. The young Kavanaugh earned his stripes serving as a prosecutor on Starr's independent counsel probe of Bill and Hillary Clinton in the 1990s.

The Starr probe led to President Clinton's impeachment by the House of Representatives in 1998.

Judge Kavanaugh's record on the court looks like solid gold for Trump's America First agenda.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Illegal Immigration: In 2008, he dissented from the liberal majority in Agri Processor Co. v. NLRB, concluding that illegal immigrant employees have no right to vote in union elections governed by federal election law.
  • America First: In 2014, he concurred in American Meat Institute v. US Department of Agriculture, saying that “country of origin” labeling requirements are a constitutional way to protect American manufacturers, farmers, and ranchers against foreign competitors.
  • Guns: In 2011, he dissented from the liberal majority in Heller v. District of Columbia, finding that the courts must interpret the Second Amendment as originally intended, and as such, DC's restrictive gun laws inappropriately burdened DC citizens from acquiring firearms for their own protection.
  • Religious Freedom: In 2010, he concurred in Newdow v. Roberts, reasoning that religious prayers and statements before a presidential inauguration and court proceedings are constitutional under the First Amendment.
  • Obama's Regulatory Overkill: In 2012, he dissented in Coal v. EPA, concluding that the Obama EPA's massively burdensome global warming regulations were unlawful; the Supreme Court, in an opinion written by Justice Scalia in 2014, adopted and cited his reasoning.
  • Kavanaugh, a Yale Law School graduate, is a familiar and well-liked figure in conservative circles.

Kavanaugh's judicial worldview was shaped by Reagan administration figures. He served as law clerk to Justice Anthony Kennedy, a Reagan Supreme Court appointee, and he served briefly in the Solicitor General's Office under Starr, another Reagan appointee.

He joined the George W. Bush administration in 2001 and was nominated by the president to the Appeals Court. He was confirmed by the Senate in 2006.

Committee for Justice President Curt Levey tells Newsmax that Kavanaugh "clearly has the experience and intellect to be on the short list, and very likely is."

Levey adds: “But to those who speculate he's the frontrunner, I would remind them that's it very early and that Judge Bill Pryor was the No. 1 contender for the Scalia vacancy for months.

"There may or may not be any significance to the fact that [Kavanaugh] wasn't on Trump's first and second SCOTUS lists, despite already being a conservative favorite at the time," Levey said.

"Gorsuch wasn't on the first list, but wasn't as well known as Kavanaugh."

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A leading contender to become President Trump's next choice to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court is Judge Brett Kavanaugh, a judicial conservative. Kavanaugh, who serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, has been named on a short list of 25...
scotus, candidate, Kavanaugh
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2018-40-28
Thursday, 28 June 2018 12:40 PM
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