Kavanaugh has inside track for Trump's Supreme Court choice, sources say

Posted July 09, 2018

LAT: It appears that President Trump has narrowed his Supreme Court consideration to four contenders - Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the D.C. Circuit, Judge Raymond Kethledge of the 6th Circuit, Judge Amy Coney Barrett of the 7th Circuit and Judge Thomas Hardiman of the 3rd Circuit.

The president has also spoken via phone with Utah Sen.

White House officials close to the USA president say personality will be as important a factor as politics in the decision, a strategy Mr Trump has taken with previous high-profile appointments.

Already some very fine parsing of the potential nominees' records is taking place. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has told colleagues he may not vote for Kavanaugh if the judge is nominated, citing Kavanaugh's role during the Bush administration on cases involving executive privilege and the disclosure of documents to Congress, said a person familiar with Paul's conversations who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity. Trump previous year appointed conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch to take a seat that the Republican-led U.S. Senate, which must confirm nominees to the high court, had prevented Democratic former President Barack Obama from filling in 2016 following the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia.

LAT: So if I had to guess, I would say that it will be either Judge Kavanaugh or Judge Kethledge, which is basically a position I have taken since Justice Kennedy announced his retirement. After that, he worked in another top Michigan law firm and later founded a law firm of his own based in Troy, Michigan. He was appointed to the 6th Circuit in MI in 2008 by President George W. Bush.

Kethledge had the option of joining one of several pro-gun opinions, including a heavily "original meaning" focused one which criticized the controlling opinion in the case for "giving little more than a nod to the originalist inquiry".

So what sort of extreme conservative might be preferable to have on the Supreme Court, if that must be our choice?

"The key insight", Sutton concluded, "is that no government may permanently deny rights based on generalizations stemming from classifications about any individual who once was institutionalized".

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"Kavanaugh is not another Roberts; he's another Scalia, Alito, or Gorsuch", he wrote, referring to conservative justices.

He is now serving as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in MI.

She attended law school at Notre Dame. The Associated Press has learned that Vice President Mike Pence has met with some of the candidates in recent days.

Republicans are mocking Democratic opposition to a nominee who's not yet been named. As for McCaskill, "I think what could get her to win is health care, because there are so many pro-life Republicans, so many older people, who don't want health care taken away". If the present Senate is unwilling to confirm the best nominee, then the seat can remain vacant during the election, and the people will elect a Senate who will confirm the best nominee. She's only been a federal judge for about a year.

It's why the pro-life views of Barrett, a devout Catholic and mother of seven, have loomed large in the debate. Conservative groups rallied around Barrett after her confirmation hearing previous year featured questioning from Democrats over how her Roman Catholic faith would affect her decisions.

They say whomever President Donald Trump selects must explicitly say they support the rights to abortion, to use contraceptives and to marry someone of the same gender. She was confirmed with 55 bi-partisan votes, one more vote than Justice Gorsuch received.

The confirmation process promises to be a fight. He plans to interview two or three potential candidates.