Minnesota Court Observers Weigh in on Supreme Court Nomination

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Kennedy's retirement left a hole for Trump to fill smack in the middle of the deeply divided court, where all nine justices tend to vote the way the presidents who nominated them expected.

Trump said Kavanaugh is "considered a judge's judge and a true thought leader".

She added, "Judge Kavanaugh has consistently proven to be a conservative ideologue instead of a mainstream jurist". He has a solid conservative voting record and supported gun rights in cases.

The sharply negative Democratic responses to Kavanaugh's nomination indicated a pitched battle over his confirmation is coming this fall. If Barrett is nominated, she could face a hard confirmation process.

Kavanaugh has amassed a solidly conservative judicial record since 2006 on the influential U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the same court where three current justices including Chief Justice John Roberts previously served.

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Judge Kavanaugh has an impeccable résumé: Yale College, Yale Law School, a SCOTUS clerkship, government service (the Justice Department and White House), Biglaw practice (partnership at Kirkland & Ellis), and more than a dozen years of distinguished service on the D.C. Circuit. He also dissented on a vote to uphold net neutrality regulations against a challenge brought by telecommunications and other Internet providers in 2017 and rejected two constitutional challenges to the Affordable Care Act. Other top contenders included Raymond Kethledge, Amy Coney Barrett and Thomas Hardiman. Kavanaugh also clerked for Kennedy. "No single prosecutor, judge, or jury should be able to accomplish what the Constitution assigns to the Congress".

Some conservatives have expressed concerns about Kavanaugh - a longtime judge and a former clerk for Kennedy - questioning his commitment to social issues like abortion and noting his time serving under President George W Bush as evidence he is a more establishment choice.

"President Trump has made a superb selection", McConnell said.

With customary fanfare, Trump planned to unveil his choice on prime-time TV. Barrett was appointed by Trump to the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals a year ago. Kavanaugh would be less receptive to abortion and gay rights than Kennedy was. However, Trump told Fox Business Network he would "probably not" ask candidates specifically about the case.

"I'm very close to making a decision", CNN quoted Trump as saying on Monday. His opinions are so well-written and so brilliant. The New Jersey Senator blasted Kavanuagh as a "political actor" and "get out of jail free card" who will protect Trump, advance the president's agenda, and roll back rights and political victories progressives won in court over the years.