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In fact, Trump's pick was said to have the "inside track" from the get-go, thanks to his D.C. connections.

Since 2006, Kavanaugh has served as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The conservative Kavanaugh graduated from Yale Law School in 1990, and was a law clerk for Kennedy in 1993.

When Neil Gorsuch's Supreme Court nomination was pending Senate confirmation and there was fear inside the White House that the president might be waffling on him, the justice-in-waiting sent a letter to his taskmaster, hoping to win back his graces and maybe avert a replacement nomination. Conservatives have also criticized Kavanaugh for an initial ruling that, per The Federalist, "wrote a roadmap for saving Obamacare".

Democrats on the Judiciary Committee took to the steps of the Supreme Court to protest President Donald Trump's choice, which is for the seat of retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.

When you're a Supreme Court nominee, everything you've written in the last decade is closely examined. Indeed, Vox points out, CNN's Jim Acosta reported that the Trump team reviewed these comments by Kavanaugh before choosing him. "A judge must be independent and must interpret the law, not make the law", he said. "He keeps an open mind and sticks to the law", Mascott said. Good appellate judges faithfully follow the Supreme Court; great ones influence and help steer it.

In his first statewide television ad buy, which launched this week, Hawley blasted McCaskill by saying she "wants liberals in charge".

Democrats say McConnell is being hypocritical in moving forward with the nomination.

In 2009, Kavanaugh floated the idea that presidents should be immune from criminal and civil charges while in office because of the pressures of leading the nation. Two other Republicans, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of ME, support abortion rights and maintaining health insurance access for sick Americans - issues likely to be heard by the supreme court.

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"Judge Kavanaugh commands wide and deep respect among scholars, lawyers, judges, and justices", said Sterling Professor Akhil Reed Amar '84. Kavanaugh said he would start meeting senators on Tuesday.

The White House wants Kavanaugh to be in place by October 1, when the court's next term formally opens, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said the Senate will vote to confirm Kennedy's successor in the fall.

"It will be very hard for Democrats particularly those in red states to vote against him, except for rank political motives", said Carrie Severino, chief counsel and policy director at the Judicial Crisis Network, a conservative legal organization. He added that "it's been reaffirmed many times, including in Planned Parenthood v. Casey", and, "I don't think it would be appropriate for me to give a personal view". "Kavanaugh has been the creature and servant of political power all his days", Garrett Epps, a constitutional scholar, wrote in The Atlantic."It would be the height of folly to expect that, having attained his lifetime's ambition of a seat on the Supreme Court, he will become anything else".

"Rehnquist's dissenting opinion [in Roe...] stated that under the Court's precedents, any such unenumerated right had to be rooted in the traditions and conscience of our people", Kavanaugh summarized.

"The stakes for our democracy are has high as they have ever been, if not higher", Aron said.

Sen. Orrin Hatch says he has spoken with President Donald Trump about his nominee to the Supreme Court and doesn't believe he's going to pick Amy Coney Barrett.

During his time in private practice, Kavanaugh took on pro bono cases, including that of a Reconstructionist synagogue, Adat Shalom in Bethesda, Maryland, which was facing challenges from its neighbors in constructing a building.