Is Judge Brett Kavanaugh Bound for SCOTUS?

By William Vogeler, Esq. on June 28, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Long before Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement, his potential replacement was already in the political hot seat.

Judge Brett Kavanaugh, a former Kennedy clerk appointed to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals in 2006, had a tough time getting there. His confirmation was delayed for three years as opponents took aim at him.

Still, Kavanaugh is considered the frontrunner for Kennedy's spot. It makes sense, even though he may be going into a Senatorial lion's den.

The Frontrunner

President Trump already has Kavanaugh on his short list, and Court-watchers predict he will soon be the official nominee. If so, he will face some of the same opposition he met the first time.

New York Sen. Chuck Schumer said then that he had "deep concerns" about Kavanaugh. Although Kavanaugh has not been named, Schumer has wasted no time foreshadowing his position.

"Americans should make it clear that they will not tolerate a nominee chosen from President Trump's pre-ordained list, selected by powerful special interests, who will reverse the progress we have made over the decades," he tweeted.

Trump may engage in the pre-confirmation Twitter battle, but he has been known to surprise people with nominations in the past. For example, he nominated Judge Don Willet to the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals even though the judge tweeted his opposition to Trump during the presidential campaign in 2016.

Republican Rush

Meanwhile, Republicans want to get it over with as soon as possible because the November elections could change everything. If Democrats have their way, it could be a long, drawn out process..

The last time Kavanaugh was before the Senate, the New York Times called him an "unqualified judicial nominee" for "political partisanship." But for Trump, who has long feuded with the newspaper, that is practically an endorsement.

In any case, the Senate will have a lot to chew on if Kavanaugh is nominated. He has written 286 opinions on the DC Circuit, according to Empirical SCOTUS.

While speculation will continue about the next Supreme Court justice until he or she is named, so far it looks like the name is Kavanaugh.

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