Trump picks Brett Kavanaugh as new US Supreme Court nominee replacing Anthony Kennedy

Updated July 09, 2018
  • By Shelby Lin Erdman, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
Dennis cook/AP
In this April 26, 2004, file photo, Brett Kavanaugh appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. Kavanaugh is President Donald Trump’s nominee to succeed retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.

President Donald Trump has picked federal appeals court Judge Brett Kavanaugh as his new United States Supreme Court nominee, announcing his decision Monday night in a prime-time televised address.

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If confirmed, Kavanaugh will replace the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, a crucial swing vote on the court, when Kennedy steps down at the end of the month.

With the nomination of Kavanaugh, Trump has cemented the conservative bent of the U.S. Supreme Court for potentially several generations.

>> Related: Who is Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court?

“Judge Kavanaugh has impeccable credentials, unsurpassed qualifications and a proven commitment to equal justice under law," Trump said during his nomination speech at the White House.

Kavanaugh thanked Trump for the honor and briefly discussed his beliefs on the bench.

"My judicial philosophy is straightforward. A judge must be independent and must interpret the law, not make the law," Kavanaugh said as he accepted the nomination.

"A judge must interpret statutes as written and a judge must interpret the Constitution as written, informed by history and tradition and precedent," he said.

>> Jamie Dupree: Brett Kavanaugh no stranger to D.C. legal, political circles

A Washington insider, Kavanaugh, 53, has served on the D.C. Circuit Court since 2006 and has a long and solid record as a conservative jurist. He was born in D.C., and raised in Maryland where his mother also worked in the judiciary as a state court judge. Kavanaugh, who attended both Yale University and Yale Law School, clerked under Kennedy. He also worked for Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr in the 1990s, where he played a crucial role in writing the Starr Report, which led to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. 

What You Need To Know - US Supreme Court
In this April 26, 2004, file photo, Brett Kavanaugh appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. Kavanaugh is President Donald Trump’s nominee to succeed retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. Photo: Dennis cook/AP