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Hero or villain? Trump's court pick is in for a fight

11 July 2018

But the soon expected absence of liberal lions like RBG in the USA, and the current absence of such figures on the Israeli Supreme Court, may be just as much of a factor in dictating stronger conservative control of those courts as Kavanaugh's expected replacement of Anthony Kennedy and Shaked's appointment of clearly conservative justices.

Kavanaugh on the court, says Van Hollen, represents a threat to abortion rights, a threat to affordable health care, and a vote for "king-like powers for the president of the United States".

Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, an umbrella coalition of more than 200 civil rights organisations in the USA, likened Kavanaugh to Trump, a property tycoon, saying "he would protect the rights of the wealthy and powerful over the rights of all".

At 53, Kavanaugh is relatively young. "A judge must be independent and must interpret the law, not make the law".

Senators will be seeking access to Kavanaugh's writings and correspondence, reams of documents that will take weeks to compile and even longer to review, giving opponents ample opportunity to wage a political battle.

The White House wants Kavanaugh to be in place by October 1, when the court's next term formally opens, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said the Senate will vote to confirm Kennedy's successor in the fall.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer charged that Trump "chose the candidate who he thought would best protect him from the Mueller investigation" while Cory Booker of New Jersey warned darkly that Trump "chose the one person that has written that he should have immunity from any investigation and from any kind of prosecution it might result in".

"The indictment and trial of a sitting president", Kavanaugh wrote, "would cripple the federal government".

Democrats are likely to confront Kavanaugh with those words when he sits for his confirmation hearing.

"I think that the court is going to incrementally move to the right - I don't think it's going to be huge and dramatic", he said.

Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) took office in 1975, but Vermont's senior senator said the stakes have never been higher than they are over President Donald Trump's nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.

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Cox pointed to the landmark Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education, in which justices unanimously ruled that the "separate but equal" standards of racial segregation were unconstitutional.

"You are anxious about president Trump's overreach".

But one of their prime targets, Sen.

Patrick Morrisey, now West Virginia's attorney general, said Tuesday afternoon that he expects Manchin to straddle the fence on Kavanaugh, calling it "the Joe Manchin way".

All face tough re-election races this November in states Trump won easily in 2016.

Democrats are specifically targeting two pro-choice Republicans, Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

Democrats have said Republican gerrymandering has helped Trump's party keep control of the U.S. House of Representatives and various state legislatures.

"I especially want to express our gratitude to Mitch McConnell for all that he did to make this achievement possible", Trump said.

Trump also met with Republican Sens. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said.

"Just as they held the Merrick Garland seat open on the Supreme Court, they also held open an very bad lot of vacancies on the district courts and the courts of appeal", said Russell Wheeler, who tracks judicial nominations at the Brookings Institution.

Asked repeatedly if some sort of deal between Trump and Kennedy was struck before Kennedy announced his retirement, Shah dodged, saying things like "I'm not going to read out private conversations that Justice Kennedy had with either members of the White House or the president", and, "Justice Kennedy can speak for himself".

Hero or villain? Trump's court pick is in for a fight