Battle over Supreme Court pick Kavanaugh kicks off

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Over a dozen years as a judge on the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., Brett Kavanaugh has weighed in on controversial cases involving guns, abortion, health care and religious liberty.

Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, an umbrella coalition of more than 200 civil rights organisations in the U.S., likened Kavanaugh to Trump, a property tycoon, saying "he would protect the rights of the wealthy and powerful over the rights of all". "In your opinions, demonstrate civility - to show, to help display that you're trying to make the decision impartially, dispassionately, based on the law and not based on your emotions".

That may have been on Kavanaugh's mind late Monday when the federal judge seemed to go out of his way to praise his "inspiring" wife and "spirited" daughters, and told the story of his mother, a teacher-turned-prosecutor who "overcame barriers" to become a trial judge.

Pence met with Kavanaugh, 53, earlier in the day on Capitol Hill, along with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Kyl, a former member of Republican leadership, served on the Senate Judiciary Committee before retiring from the Senate in January 2013.

Unfortunately, the email omitted the judge's name, leaving many with the impression that the template was written beforehand, with key details (i.e. who was actually nominated) added after the announcement. Grassley said it's uncertain when confirmation hearings could occur because the relevant records need to be vetted first.

"I think that the court is going to incrementally move to the right - I don't think it's going to be huge and dramatic", he said.

"No president has ever consulted more widely, or talked with more people from more backgrounds to seek input about a Supreme Court nomination", Kavanaugh said of Trump.

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"Another conservative justice on the U.S. Supreme Court who honors the original intent of the Constitution will have a positive impact on our country for decades".

"You are anxious about president Trump's overreach".

White House spokesman Raj Shah says the Arizona Republican "has agreed to serve as the Sherpa for the President's nominee to the Supreme Court". Sens. Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota have all been floated as possible "yes" votes for Kavanaugh, but on Tuesday, they were just as mum as their moderate colleagues on the other side of the aisle. And all three are running for re-election in November in states Trump won.

Democrats are specifically targeting two pro-choice Republicans, Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Trump also has suggested he could pardon himself.

"Justice Kennedy's retirement makes the issue of Senate control one of the vital issues of our time", he told an audience in Fargo, N.D., last month. There are two pro-choice USA senators who probably share (privately at least) the fears of abortion-rights supporters about Kavanaugh's impact on Roe v. Wade.

"He's demonstrated a hostility to the Affordable Care Act that the Trump administration is continually working to undermine", Democratic Sen.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, Nihad Awad, the national executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said that the Senate must grill Kavanaugh on his views on civil rights and presidential powers. "A more conservative majority could be more willing to uphold state restrictions on abortion, if not overturn the 45-year-old landmark Roe v. Wade decision that established a woman's constitutional right".

JCN played an active role in opposing the 2016 candidacy of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court - a nomination that died during the final months of the Obama presidency - and supported the nomination and subsequent confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court previous year. "So am I", Schumer said on MSNBC's Morning Joe.

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