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"Throughout legal circles he's considered a judge's judge, a true thought leader among his peers", Trump, who named conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch to the court previous year, told an applauding audience in the White House East Room during the announcement that was carried on prime-time TV.

Kavanaugh has been dubbed a Washington insider, having worked in both Bush administrations, and is now a judge on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia circuit.

Since 2006, Kavanaugh has served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, often called the nation's second most powerful court. "Like Gorsuch, Judge Kavanaugh is brilliant, fair and independent, committed to following the law and honoring the Constitution". But four Democrats from states Trump won in 2016 voted to confirm Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch past year, leaving the Republicans room for error.

President Trump is slated to announce his nominee to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy tonight.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said red-state Democrats might be tempted to vote for Trump's nominee because the midterm elections are coming up-but they should prioritize stopping his nomination to the Supreme Court.

Trump's pick, if confirmed by the Senate, will replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, who has always been the swing vote on the divided court.

The letter addresses the controversy surrounding the nomination after McConnell's Senate refused to vote on outgoing President Barack Obama nominee Merrick Garland in 2016 which allowed Trump to instill right-leaning Neil Gorsuch to the high court when he took office.

Those names played a crucial role in winning the votes of evangelical conservatives, who might have doubted Trump's unconventional credentials but deeply wanted a Supreme Court justice who would oppose abortion rights.

Many Senate Democrats said they plan to oppose Trump's nominee, saying his finalists tend to favor corporations over people and are hostile to abortion rights and other matters of privacy.

The Republican caucus has a 51-49 advantage in the Senate, but one key member, Sen.

Many senators, including Capito, said the nomination process should wait until after the election.

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Since his appointment to the Court of Appeals, Kavanaugh has not ruled in any cases involving abortion or gay so-called marriage, something conservatives hope the Supreme Court will revisit. "Whether or not the Supreme Court enforces the spirit of those words, 'Equal Justice Under Law, ' is determined by the individuals who sit on that Court", Harris wrote.

Looking ahead to his confirmation hearings, Kavanaugh said, "I will tell each senator that I revere the Constitution".

A Maryland native whose mother was a public school teacher who went on to serve as a state judge in Maryland, Kavanaugh got his undergraduate and law degrees from Yale University.

In the days leading up to Trump's announcement, some conservatives were concerned Mr Kavanaugh would not be far enough to the right on certain issues including abortion and health care.

Trump will announce his decision Monday at 9 p.m.

President Trump campaigned with a promise to conservatives that he would fill the federal courts, from the top on down, with judges to their liking.

Kavanaugh is likely to be more conservative than Justice Kennedy on a range of social issues. John McCain has been absent as he battles brain cancer. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., all of whom are running for re-election in states Trump won in 2016.

Kavanaugh now faces the confirmation process.

Barrett, confirmed to the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on October 31, has faced opposition by abortion rights groups because she has called Roe v. Wade an erroneous decision.

The Supreme Court, sitting atop one of the three branches of American government, "has grown in importance over the past few decades", Burrus said.


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