In selecting Brett Kavanaugh for the supreme court, Donald Trump has picked a jurist who has long been touted as a conservative rising star.
Kavanaugh worked in the George W Bush White House before being nominated to the DC court of appeals in 2003. He was confirmed in 2006 after Democrats mounted a long fight against his nomination on the grounds that Kavanaugh was overly partisan.
Before his stint in the Bush White House, Kavanaugh worked for Ken Starr, the lawyer who led the investigation of President Bill Clinton in the 1990s. Kavanaugh helped author the Starr Report, which laid out the case for Clinton’s impeachment and removal from office. He also did legal work for the Bush campaign during the Florida election recount.
The 53-year-old has impeccable academic credentials. He is a graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School and clerked for Justice Anthony Kennedy, whose retirement vacated the seat that he has now been nominated for. Since taking the bench, Kavanaugh has authored 286 different opinions.
The Maryland native is the father of two daughters and met his wife Ashley when she served as personal secretary to George W Bush.
Some social conservative groups have warned that Kavanaugh is insufficiently conservative, citing decisions on Obamacare and abortion where they have felt that he did not go far enough in his opinions. In particular, they cite a 2011 ruling in which he dissented from a decision that the Affordable Care Act was constitutional solely on jurisdictional grounds and not as a matter of law.
He has also faced criticism for not joining in a strident dissent in a case about whether an undocumented minor in government custody could seek an abortion. Although Kavanaugh wrote “The Government has permissible interests in favoring fetal life, protecting the best interests of a minor, and refraining from facilitating abortion,” he did not join in a colleague’s dissent, which argued that the minor could not have a constitutional right to abortion access under Roe v Wade because she was not a citizen.
Kavanaugh may also face scrutiny from Senate Democrats over allegations that he misled the judiciary committee when nominated for the DC court of appeals over his knowledge of detention programs for enemy combatants in the Bush administration.
This article provided by NewsEdge.