In a wide-ranging interview with Bret Baier, Vice President Pence says the White House is encouraged by the early response to President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, that Trump believes in engagement with Russian Federation, and that the president was right to dismiss General Flynn.
Many Democrats fear that Kavanaugh's conservative credentials - in a bench that is now tied 4-4 between liberal and conservative justices- will tilt the court right for the foreseeable future, allowing a rewriting of everything from hard won rights on abortion to same-sex marriage. "He's referred to the judge's role as that of an umpire, so I expect that with this particular issue or any others, if they were to come before him and he were to be confirmed as a Supreme Court justice, that he would continue to keep an open mind and just call the issues as they are before him in that case".
While many Democratic senators swiftly issued statements rejecting Kavanaugh late Monday, Indiana's Joe Donnelly was noncommittal, pledging to "carefully review and consider the record and qualifications of Judge Brett Kavanaugh".
Kavanaugh is Trump's second high court pick after Justice Neil Gorsuch.
The director did not mention how Mr. Kavanaugh's 12 years on the US appeals court failed to draw the attention of doomsday activists until now.
Many Democrats have latched onto Kavanaugh's statement about investigations into presidents.
Michael McDaniel, a constitutional law professor at Western Michigan University's Cooley Law School, said Kavanaugh is a judge with significant experience in cases involving federal agencies and has a deep understanding of both the judicial and executive branch.
"Rehnquist's dissenting opinion [in Roe...] stated that under the Court's precedents, any such unenumerated right had to be rooted in the traditions and conscience of our people", Kavanaugh summarized.
A senior White House official says Trump called Kavanaugh on Sunday evening to inform him that he was his choice to be nominated to the Supreme Court.
"My judicial philosophy is straightforward: a judge must be independent and must interpret the law, not make the law", the 53-year-old justice said shortly after his nomination by Mr. Trump.
On Monday, Trump phoned retiring Justice Kennedy to inform him that his former law clerk would be nominated to fill his seat.
Both of Michigan's U.S. Senators - Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow - are Democrats, and both said they have serious concerns with Kavanaugh's nomination.
Top contenders had included federal appeals judges Raymond Kethledge, Amy Coney Barrett, and Thomas Hardiman. He was appointed to that post by President George W. Bush, after serving as Bush's White House staff secretary.
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Rep. Chellie Pingree (D): "Brett Kavanaugh is a far-right choice to sit on our nation's highest court". Senate Republicans hold only a 51-49 majority, leaving them hardly any margin if Democrats hold the line.
Doggett said that these concerns necessitated delaying Kavanaugh's confirmation.
Some Republican senators had favored other options.
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.
Democrats and liberal advocacy groups quickly lined up in opposition. McConnell had said the victor of the presidential election should make the choice. Democrats who were invited but declined included Sens.
All face tough re-election races this November in states Trump won easily in 2016.
Democrats have turned their attention to pressuring two Republicans, Sens.
The nominee's fate may rest with two Republican senators who back abortion rights, Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. The two have supported access to abortion services. At the top of that list is abortion.
Kennedy's replacement also could be more willing to allow states to carry out executions and could support undoing earlier court holdings in the areas of racial discrimination in housing and the workplace.
Imagine this: In July 1974, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the president of the United States had to turn over evidence in a criminal proceeding, a decision that led, less than a month later, to that president's resignation.
Altogether, Kavanaugh had written opinions in 286 cases as of the end of 2017. He dissented from a ruling that let an undocumented immigrant teenager get an abortion while in federal custody. That's Republicans and Democrats alike.
"President Trump is a realist about the world", Pence said. "I look forward to following the U.S. Senate confirmation process". The House Judiciary Committee took up articles of impeachment that very afternoon and charged Nixon with obstruction of justice three days later. He works for Washington-based lobbying firm Covington & Burling. But he says with his final four options "you can't go wrong".
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