President Donald Trump announced Monday night that Brett Kavanaugh would be his nominee to replace Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court of the United States.
Kavanaugh has served as a federal appeals court judge who comes as a somewhat more reserved choice among Trump’s previously announced shortlist of nominees, having at time dissented from the Republican Party on certain issues, including the Affordable Care Act.
During the announcement Monday evening, Trump called Kavanaugh a “judge’s judge” and a “thought leader among his peers.”
Kavanaugh, for his part, thanked the president for his “appreciation for the vital role of the American judiciary,” saying that he was “humbled” by the nomination and Trump’s confidence in him.
Continuing from the podium Monday evening, Kavanaugh said that he was “deeply honored” to be nominated to serve as Kennedy’s replacement — Kavanaugh served as a clerk for Kennedy in the past.
Taking a moment to acknowledge his parents, Kavanaugh spoke about his mother and the prescient advice she once gave him: “Her trademark line was, ‘Use your common sense. What rings true? What rings false?'” His mother, a onetime school teacher, would go on to become a trial judge.
He continued on, talking about his father, his two daughters, and his wife, calling her an “inspiring mom” and thanking God for his family.
Kavanaugh’s nomination comes just days after Kennedy announced his retirement, effective July 31. He faces an uphill battle to be confirmed by the Senate in the coming weeks, as many senators — from both sides of the aisle — have been vocal about their thoughts on the matter.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) already spoke out Monday evening saying that he was going to oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination with “everything” he has.
“I will oppose Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination with everything I have,” Schumer’s statement said, “and I hope a bipartisan majority will do the same. The stakes are simply too high for anything less.”
From the other side of the aisle, Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said that Trump’s nomination of Kavanaugh “shows his commitment to selecting judges who are themselves committed to this restraint.”
“Judge Kavanaugh will bring extensive experience to the Supreme Court,” Ryan’s statement continued, “his long career exemplifies public service and, in particular, dedication to religious liberty. He has shown that Constitutional principles are the ultimate guide for his opinions.”
Kavanaugh stands to be President Trump’s second appointment to the Supreme Court after Neil Gorsuch’s appointment earlier in his term. This may also not be Trump’s last opportunity to appoint to the highest court in the United States; Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg is 85, and Justice Stephen Breyer turns 80 in August.