Brett Kavanaugh Is a Safe Choice to Carry Out the GOP’s Extreme Supreme Court Agenda

Brett Kavanaugh Is a Safe Choice to Carry Out the GOP’s Extreme Supreme Court Agenda

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images After all sorts of feints, and a tightly controlled process concluding in a an Apprentice -style prime-time TV reveal, the president nominated D.C. Court of Appeals Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy. Kavanaugh was the front-runner from the moment Kennedy (for whom he clerked) announced he would give his Republican Party a crucial spot on the Court. Yes, there was some right-wing flak confronting Kavanaugh’s name during the brief period of speculation over Trump’s choice. But it was mostly from advocates of other candidates (especially the p rovocative right-wing alternative Amy Coney Barrett ), and focused on Kavanaugh decisions that merely showed he was cautious about direct challenges to abortion rights and the Affordable Care Act. No one who criticized Kavanaugh from the right is likely to challenge his confirmation. All along he was the consensus favorite of the conservative legal community, including Leonard Leo, the Federal Society executive director who has led the judicial vetting process for Trump. His long judicial and political record (before becoming a judge he was a long-time assistance to Special Prosecutor Ken Starr and then a legal adviser to President George W. Bush) provided ample cherry-picking opportunities for advocates of his rivals, but no smoking guns. He is as safe a choice as Trump could have made, which reflects his understanding that this pick – far more than Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to succeed conservative icon Antonin Scalia after Mitch […]

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