After a week of deliberation and speculation, President Trump has picked his Supreme Court nominee: Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
In a front of a televised audience, Trump said that he was looking for a candidate who would faithfully follow the rule of law and called Kavanaugh a “judge’s judge.”
“The rule of law is our nation’s proud heritage. It is the cornerstone of our freedom. It is what guarantees equal justice,” Trump said. “And the Senate now has a chance to protect this glorious heritage by sending Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.”
Kavanaugh followed Trump by saying he was “humbled” by the nomination.
“My judicial philosophy is straightforward: a judge must be independent,” Kavanaugh said, adding that a judge must follow the law, not make the law.
“I will always strive to follow the Constitution of the United States and the American rule of law,” Kavanaugh concluded.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) expressed concern over Kavanaugh’s nomination.
“We are concerned that Judge Kavanaugh’s judicial record does not reflect the demonstrated independence and commitment to fair treatment for all that is necessary to merit a seat on our nation’s highest court,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement. “Because he has written and spoken prolifically on many issues of deep concern, we believe his positions merit close scrutiny. These include his demonstrated hostility to reproductive freedom and his past support for greatly expanded and unchecked executive power. ”
Kavanaugh, a federal judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, clerked for retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. His record also consists of working on independent counsel Ken Starr’s investigations into the Clinton administration as well as on President George W. Bush’s White House counsel.
As a judge, Kavanaugh has tended to generally align with the constitutionalist line of thinking, however some conservative critics have expressed skepticism over some of Kavanaugh’s cases, most notably a 2011 case that ruled that the Obamacare individual mandate was a tax.