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President Donald Trump tonight named Brett Kavanaugh to replace Anthony Kennedy as Associate Justice on the Supreme Court, in a reality-TV-like primetime reveal.
Trump’s nom was unveiled in the White House’s East Room, picking from his short list provided by right-wing Federalist Society. He called Kavanaugh “one of the finest and sharpest legal minds of our time.” Announcement of Kavanaugh’s name drew a standing ovation in the room filled with GOP bigwigs.
People - Room - Applause - Trump - Choice
“I know the people in this room well; they do not stand and give applause like that very often,” Trump bragged after naming his choice.
Broadcast networks scrambled to clear room on their primetime schedules at 9 PM in order to cover Trump’s announcement, ABC interrupting summer reality TV workhorse The Bachelorette, to carry Survivor: Scotus.
White - House - Ceremony - Twitter
White House promoted the ceremony on Twitter:
Trump’s made-for-TV announcement mirrored his January selection of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Now, as then, Trump’s unveiling of Gorsuch was carried live by the broadcast and cable news networks and streamed live on Facebook, churning up one of the larger recent audiences for a reality TV series reveal.
January - Trump - Measures - Suspense - Selection
Back in January Trump took extraordinary measures to build suspense and keep the final selection under wraps, teasing shortly before the revealing that Gorsuch and federal appellate judge Thomas Hardiman were the established favorites. Trump had both men travel to DC for the announcement to keep suspense high; Hardiman was seen pumping gas en route to Washington. But word he’d picked Gorsuch leaked out shortly before the reveal.
Back then, Trump’s decision to summon both men to Washington, and his primetime TV special reveal seemed to shock some TV news talking heads...
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