President Donald Trump has nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to replace retiring Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy. Kavanaugh was opposed by some conservatives and is not viewed as strongly anti-abortion as Amy Coney Barrett of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. However, he is highly intelligent and accomplished. I have a column out this morning in The Hill newspaper.
Kavanaugh was not the easiest nominee for Trump and could present logistical and substantive challenges. Logistically, his over 300 opinions and record of prior service will make it difficult to wrap up the confirmation by the midterm election. On substance, his highly deferential view on presidential power could threaten votes from members like Rand Paul and his assumed views on Roe v. Wade could endanger a couple of Republican female senators like Susan Collins.
However, he presents equal challenges for the Democrats who could undermine the election prospects for members in purple states for the midterm elections. He is the perfect wedge nominee for purple states.
What do you think of Trump’s choice?