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President Trump nominated federal appeals court Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court Monday night, setting up a furious partisan confirmation battle as he seeks to move the high court firmly under conservatives’ control for decades to come.
In a prime-time announcement at the White House, the president tapped Judge Kavanaugh of the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit after a 12-day whirlwind search to replace the retiring Justice Anthony M. Kennedy.
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“He is a brilliant jurist,” Mr. Trump said as he introduced the nominee and his family. “Judge Kavanaugh has devoted his life to public service.”
Judge Kavanaugh, 53, has served on the appeals court since 2006, ruling on some of the nation’s most high-profile cases on a court that is considered a steppingstone to the Supreme Court. He is a favorite of the conservative Washington legal establishment.
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He previously worked in the White House counsel’s office under President George W. Bush, and helped to draft special counsel Ken Starr’s report urging the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. The nominee also was a clerk to Justice Kennedy.
Judge Kavanaugh said he was “deeply honored” to be nominated to replace Justice Kennedy.
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“Mr. President, I am grateful to you, and I’m humbled by your confidence in me,” he said.
When the president introduced his nominee, the audience gave him a standing ovation for one minute and eight seconds.
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“I know the people in this room very well. They do not stand and give applause like that very often. So they have some respect,” said Mr. Trump.
The pick is Mr. Trump’s second to the nation’s highest court, after he selected Justice Neil M. Gorsuch last year to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in 2016. The stakes are even higher with this nomination, as Mr. Trump seizes a rare opportunity for a president to reshape the court for...
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