President Trump has nominated federal Judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill Anthony Kennedy’s seat on the high court. Kavanaugh has deep ties to the Republican Party and will push the Supreme Court further right if he is confirmed. Kavanaugh served as a senior aide under President George W. Bush in the White House Counsel’s Office. He has similar credentials to Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. Both clerked for Anthony Kennedy, and both are backed by the Federalist Society and Heritage Foundation, who drew up a list for Trump in 2016 of suitable right-wing judges to consider for the Supreme Court. We speak with Ian Millhiser, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress Action Fund and the editor of ThinkProgress Justice. His latest piece is headlined “Who is Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s pick to replace Anthony Kennedy?”
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: In a move to push the Supreme Court further to the right, President Trump has nominated federal Judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill Anthony Kennedy’s seat on the high court. If Kavanaugh is confirmed, it would create a bloc of five right-wing justices, likely making it the most conservative court since the 1930s. Critics warn this could lead to a major rollback of civil rights, environmental regulations, gun control measures, voting rights and reproductive rights, including possibly overturning Roe v. Wade.
While running for president, Trump openly vowed to only nominate justices who will overturn Roe v. Wade. Last year, Kavanaugh ruled against an undocumented teenager who sought to have an abortion while in federal detention. He said allowing the abortion would make the government, quote, “complicit” in something that is morally objectionable.
AMY GOODMAN: Brett Kavanaugh has also argued that sitting presidents should be shielded from criminal or civil investigations. In a 2009 article for the Minnesota Law Review, Kavanaugh wrote, “I believe that the President should be excused from some of the burdens of ordinary citizenship…