Locals react to President Donald Trump's SCOTUS nominee

Leah Millis  Reuters

Leah Millis Reuters

And just like Justice Gorsuch, he excelled as a clerk for Justice Kennedy. He also served in the George W. Bush administration.

Bringing to the table a long record of opinions and dissents, the Yale Law graduate leaves little to worry about for Trump and Senate Republicans.

At 53, Kavanaugh is relatively young.

Perhaps no Republican Senate hopeful was more eager to hold up the court issue than Josh Hawley, the Missouri attorney general and former Supreme Court clerk who is challenging Senator Claire McCaskill. Kavanaugh in 2009 changed his tune on the Starr probe, arguing that presidents should be free from civil lawsuits, criminal prosecutions and investigations while in office.

But lawyers who have worked with Kavanaugh are confident he will be boldly conservative. In his remarks at the White House, he specifically recognized the "importance of equality for all Americans".

"My judicial philosophy is straightforward: a judge must be independent and must interpret the law, not make the law". He is expected to adhere to a strict interpretation of the U.S Constitution.

Schumer and other Democratic senators have blasted Trump for having chosen Kavanaugh from a list pre-approved by rightwing outside groups, including the conservative Federalist Society.

MARTIN: So who's left on the president's short list?

"As I have always said, I believe the Senate should hold committee hearings", he said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called Kavanaugh "a superb choice" and said senators would start meeting with him this week. "You can't go wrong". Feinstein is the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee.

The timing of the nomination means that Kennedy's replacement could be confirmed before the start of the Supreme Court's next term on the first Monday in October. He added: "There is no one in America more qualified for this position, and no one more deserving". He noted that he has taught at Harvard Law School, where he was hired by former dean Elena Kagan, appointed by Obama to the Supreme Court in 2010. "The members of that community disagree about many things, but we are united by a commitment to serve". The Supreme Court has an obligation to protect the Constitution and to stand for the rule of law.

The president has also been wooing red-state Democrats as a kind of insurance policy. Democrats who were invited but declined included Sens. Joe Donnelly, West Virginia Sen. He was also considered before the President selected Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court. And all three are running for re-election in November in states Trump won. Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, to oppose any nominee who threatens Roe v. Wade.

The nomination is Trump's second to the nation's highest court, a rare presidential privilege that could seal a key part of Trump's legacy less than two years into his first term.

When asked if she was concerned, Daisey said, "yes, absolutely".

That is one reason many Democrats are demanding an all-out battle to block Trump's nominee. It turns out that's a nice way of saying vulnerable Senate Democrats are struggling between telling the base what it wants to hear and reality.

Kavanaugh is a longtime fixture of the Republican legal establishment.

"I'm very close to making a final decision. Bill Nelson should put obstructionist politics aside and swiftly confirm President Trump's nominee".

Senate Republicans' stonewalling strategy extended to lower courts as well.

This seat is extremely influential as it has been known as a swing seat in the past, and less than two hours after President Trump's announcement people began to protest the decision outside the Supreme Court. "I am aware that a person could probably make it through the proceedings without a thorough understanding of their rights and the court proceedings", U.S. District Court Judge Leslie Bowman said during one case.

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