WASHINGTON (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – President Donald Trump has nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court.
“There is no one in America more qualified for this position and no one is more deserving,” said President Trump.
On Monday, Trump phoned Justice Anthony Kennedy to inform him that his former law clerk would be nominated to fill his seat. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also received a heads-up from the president. The president briefed Senate Republicans at the White House Monday evening shortly before making the public announcement.
The official says Trump decided on Kavanaugh because of his large body of jurisprudence cited by other courts, describing him as a judge that other judges read.
President Donald Trump introduced his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as “a judge’s judge” and cited his “proven commitment to equal justice under the law.”
Trump announced Kavanaugh as his pick Monday night on prime-time television.
WATCH THE ANNOUNCEMENT HERE:
Kavanaugh says he is “humbled” and “deeply honored” to have been selected by President Donald Trump for the Supreme Court.
Kavanaugh told the president Monday night as he took the microphone to accept his nomination that he was “grateful to you” and “humbled by your confidence in me.”
He also says he is “deeply honored” to be nominated to fill the seat of retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, for whom he clerked.
Kavanaugh says 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.”
He also thanked his parents and talked about his young daughters, whose basketball teams he coaches. He says his daughters’ teammates call him “Coach K.”
The 53-year-old Kavanaugh is a longtime fixture of the Republican establishment. He has been a judge on the federal appeals court in Washington since 2006. He also was a key aide to Kenneth Starr during the investigation of President Bill Clinton. Kavanaugh also worked in the White House during George W. Bush’s presidency.
Trump says Kavanaugh has “impeccable credentials and unsurpassed qualifications.”
Trump made the announcement in the East Room of the White House and rousing applause broke out as Kavanaugh entered with his wife and two daughters.
Former President George W. Bush released the following statement after the announcement.
“President Trump has made an outstanding decision in nominating Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. 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.”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton released the following statement on Judge Kavanaugh:
“Brett Kavanaugh is an extraordinarily well-qualified Supreme Court nominee, in the mold of Justice Gorsuch, President Trump’s superb first pick for the high court. Judge Kavanaugh has distinguished himself as one of the nation’s leading constitutional scholars. He has written over 300 opinions, including many widely-cited decisions on federal regulations, statutory interpretation, and separation of powers. Judge Kavanaugh’s many years as an appellate judge demonstrate his firm commitment to following the rule of law and the original understanding of the Constitution. He’ll make an excellent addition to the Supreme Court and leave a lasting legacy on the law.”
U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) issued the following statement:
“Judge Kavanaugh is an exceptionally-qualified jurist who will be a fair and impartial arbiter of the law and will not legislate from the bench. Throughout his tenure, Judge Kavanaugh has served with a high moral standard and demonstrated a clear commitment to faithfully interpreting the Constitution.
“As the Senate begins what will be a thorough review of his record, it’s disappointing that some Democrats already rejected this nomination before it was even made. I hope Democrats will consider Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination on the merits, and I look forward to meeting with him soon in advance of a hearing.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says that Judge Brett Kavanaugh is a “superb” Supreme Court pick and that senators should “put partisanship aside” in considering him.
Democrats are already lining up against Kavanaugh as too conservative. But McConnell says senators should give him “the fairness, respect, and seriousness that a Supreme Court nomination ought to command.”
McConnell says Kavanaugh believes judges should ignore their personal and political views and simply “interpret our laws as they are written.”
The Kentucky Republican faces a challenge in winning Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)