President Trump has announced that Brett Kavanaugh is his nominee for the Supreme Court. Judge Kavanaugh is a good pick. He has compiled a solid record as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Ed Whelan describes Kavanaugh’s record and bacground here. I wrote about Kavanaugh here and here.
Kavanaugh is well-known in D.C. legal circles. There’s wide agreement among the people I know who know him that, in terms of judicial philosophy and temperament, he falls somewhere between Chief Justice Roberts and the late Justice Scalia. Some say he’s closer to Roberts. Others say he’s closer to Scalia.
Either way, Kananaugh will make a good Justice, if confirmed, though I hope the folks who say he’s closer to Scalia are right.
The key thing is to get him confirmed, hopefully by the time the Supreme Court begins its next term in early October and certainly by the end of the year. Kavanaugh has a huge paper trail that includes his time on Ken Starr’s team and his years in the White House.
The Democrats will demand millions of papers, and this could delay things. I trust that Majority Leader McConnell will be able to cope with the delaying tactics, but his considerable skills will be put to the test.
Kavanaugh’s elevation leaves an opening on the D.C. Court of Appeals, the second most important judicial body in the land. Trump will want to get a replacement confirmed this year, before a new Senate is seated. This may be a tall order, though.