US President Donald Trump on Monday picked a 53-year-old judge for Supreme Court (pictured) to give it a conservative edge for decades to come.
The top court currently enjoys a 5-4 conservative majority. Records suggest Trump’s nominee Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, if confirmed, will further move towards the right than the retiring Justice Anthony M. Kennedy.
Kavanaugh’s nomination led to protests by Democrats and progressive groups on the steps of Supreme Court and in front of Trump Tower where they blocked traffic and courted arrest. They fear that if confirmed, Kavanaugh will turn the clock back on sensitive issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage.
Democrats are expected to vehemently oppose Kavanaugh’s confirmation in the Senate where Republicans currently hold a 51-49 majority with the ailing Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) unlikely to be present for the crucial vote in the fall.
In case of a tied vote, Vice President Mike Pence can break it. But there is no guarantee that all Republicans, especially women senators, will support Trump’s nominee.
Democrats are also worried about Kavanaugh’s past assertions that presidents should be free from civil lawsuits, criminal prosecutions and investigations while in office. If he is confirmed, this will immensely benefit Trump who is being investigated for his alleged collusion with Russia during the presidential campaign in 2016.
There is a clear conflict of interest in Trump nominating a judge who could be the deciding factor on several issues related to the ongoing investigation against him. Democrats will raise this point in the senate to stop Judge Kavanaugh from being confirmed.
While Republicans welcomed Trump’s nominee, minority leader Nancy Pelosi described Kavanaugh’s elevation as a grave threat to women’s rights.
The Women’s March organisation called Trump’s announcement of the nominee as a death sentence for thousands of women in the US.
Trump described Kavanaugh as a judge’s judge adding that there is no one in America more qualified and deserving for this position.
Kavanaugh said he is humbled and deeply honoured by the elevation.
A good judge must interpret the law, not make it, interpret statutes as written, constitution as written, informed by history, tradition and precedent, he said.