Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s pick to replace Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court, will face the Senate Judiciary Committee for confirmation hearings staring Tuesday.
Kavanaugh, 53, is, as Trump likes to say, a candidate straight out of Supreme Court central casting: He is a judge on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, served in both Bush administrations, went to Yale and Yale Law, and clerked for Kennedy. But Democrats are concerned about his record on abortion, health care, and his views on executive power. These are expected to be key themes as senators question Kavanaugh throughout the week.
If confirmed, Kavanaugh will ensure a rightward shift on the court for decades to come — and it could have huge implications for abortion access, LGBTQ rights, and criminal justice. Ahead of the hearings, it looked like the odds were in Kavanaugh’s favor, but 11 senators still hadn’t said publicly whether they would support or oppose his nomination. His fate could come down to more moderate Republicans Lisa Murkowski (AK) and Susan Collins (ME), who support abortion rights. Both have spoken favorably about the nominee.