Constitution Daily

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Trump nominates Kavanaugh as Justice Kennedy’s replacement

July 9, 2018 by Scott Bomboy


On Monday night, President Donald Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh to join the Supreme Court to replace the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Kavanaugh, 53, was appointed as a federal judge to D.C. Circuit Appeals Court in May 2006, after his nomination by President George W. Bush and his confirmation by the Senate. He graduated from Yale Law School in 1990 and Yale College in 1987. Before his confirmation to the D.C. Appeals Court, Kavanaugh served for more than five years in the Bush White House.

Kavanaugh was also a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, and he was Associate Counsel in the Office of Independent Counsel Kenneth W. Starr.

In recent years, the average Supreme Court nomination and confirmation process usually has taken between two and three months.

After tonight’s announcement, President Trump will officially notify the Senate of his nomination in a written statement. This is required under the Constitution’s “Appointments Clause” in Article II, Section 2, Clause 2, which reads that the President “shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint … Judges of the supreme Court.”

Under Senate standing rules going back to 1868, the nomination is sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee, unless the nominee is a current or former Senate member. The Senate Judiciary chair, Charles Grassley, will authorize a pre-hearing investigative stage about the nominee, followed by public hearings at the Judiciary Committee and a decision on a recommendation to the full Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already said that he would like the nomination considered and then confirmed by the Senate before the first Monday of October when the Court begins its next term and starts hearing case arguments.


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