Experts Weigh in on Trump's Supreme Court Pick - Pacific Standard

Experts Weigh in on Trump's Supreme Court Pick

What experts on constitutional law and civil rights are saying about Brett Kavanaugh, Trump's new Supreme Court nominee.
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Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

On Monday night, President Donald Trump announced District of Columbia Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh as his Supreme Court nominee. Kavanaugh, who graduated from Yale Law School and clerked for Justice Anthony Kennedy, had long been seen as a frontrunner.

Kavanaugh is perhaps best known for his role as lead author of the Starr Report, an investigative account led by Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr into the controversies surrounding President Bill Clinton. Kavanaugh's views on impeachment will therefore be of interest to senators in the confirmation process, along with other hot-button issues such as abortion, LGBT rights, and voting rights.

Here's what experts on constitutional law and civil rights are saying about Trump's choice of nominee and what they expect from Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court justice.

David Fontana, Law Professor at George Washington University Law School

Brett Kavanaugh continues the trend of Supreme Court Justices on the right and the left coming from the same schools and the same professional backgrounds. President Donald J. Trump, the most surprising of Republican presidents, has approached judicial nominations in the most unsurprising way possible for a contemporary Republican president.

Justin Driver, Law Professor at the University of Chicago Law School

For more than 25 years, conservative constitutional lawyers have been grooming Judge Kavanaugh for a position on the Supreme Court. It would be utterly shocking if Kavanaugh does not turn out to be the sort of justice who fulfills both conservatives' hopes and liberals' fears.

David Cole, Legal Director, American Civil Liberties Union

If confirmed, Kavanaugh could very well be the decisive vote Trump needs in the Supreme Court to give his concerted campaign to undermine civil liberties and civil rights long-term impact. And in light of President Trump’s promise to appoint justices who would overturn [Roe v. Wade], this nomination could jeopardize the right to an abortion millions of women and families have relied on for more than four decades.

Nan Aron, President, Alliance for Justice

We already know that Kavanaugh meets Donald Trump’s two main criteria for a Supreme Court nominee: that he will vote to undermine Roe v. Wade and take health insurance away from millions. ... Not only that, but Kavanaugh has established a record that shows his lack of commitment to consumers' rights, workers' rights, clean air and water, and the fundamental principle that no president is above the law. His confirmation would definitively shift the balance of the court and turn the clock back on our rights and liberties for the next generation.

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