Immediately after President Donald Trump announced he was nominating Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court, praise for the nominee began to pour in from those citing his judicial credentials.
“The nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to be the next Supreme Court justice is President Trump’s finest hour, his classiest move. … In 2016, I strongly supported Hillary Clinton for president as well as President Barack Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Judge Merrick Garland. But today, with the exception of the current justices and Judge Garland, it is hard to name anyone with judicial credentials as strong as those of Judge Kavanaugh.” Akhil Reed Amar, professor at Yale Law School wrote in the New York Times.
Kavanaugh, 53, was considered more of an establishment candidate. He clerked for Justice Anthony Kennedy, whom he will replace if confirmed, and graduated from Yale Law School. He has strong ties to the Bush family and worked as a lawyer for Whitewater Independent Counsel Ken Starr during Bill Clinton’s presidency. Since 2006, Kavanaugh has been a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Former President George W. Bush praised Trump’s decision.
“President Trump has made an outstanding decision in nominating Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court,” Bush said in a statement. “Brett is a brilliant jurist who has faithfully applied the Constitution and laws throughout his 12 years on the D.C. Circuit. He is a fine husband, father, and friend—and a man of the highest integrity. He will make a superb Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.”
Harvard professor Jack Goldsmith called Kavanaugh “immensely qualified.”
“Brett Kavanaugh is immensely qualified for the Supreme Court: an outstanding lawyer and judge; a great teacher and serious scholar of the law; and a generous, honorable, kind person,” Goldsmith tweeted.
Brett Kavanaugh is immensely qualified for the Supreme Court: an outstanding lawyer and judge; a great teacher and serious scholar of the law; and a generous, honorable, kind person.
— Jack Goldsmith (@jacklgoldsmith) July 10, 2018
NPR’s legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg said if confirmed Kavanaugh will be an “enormously influential” member of the court.
Democratic lawmakers and officials have expressed a different view, including a number of politicians floated as potential 2020 Democratic candidates. Numerous Senate Democrats have pledged to oppose Kavanaugh.