Just the Facts
Five Facts on Brett Kavanaugh
By Emma Petasis
July 10, 2018 | Blog
On Monday President Trump announced the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to replace retiring U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy. The announcement ended weeks of speculation surrounding what could be one of the most consequential decisions this president makes. If confirmed, Judge Kavanaugh could be a deciding vote on key cases for years to come and would give conservatives a clear majority in the Supreme Court. Here are five facts on Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
Judge Kavanaugh has spent most of his life in Washington, D.C.
Brett Kavanaugh was raised in Bethesda, MD. When he was a young child his mother worked as a public school teacher in the greater Washington, D.C. area. However, both of his parents returned to school and graduated from American University Law School together in 1978. While Judge Kavanaugh could become one of the most influential judges in the country, he remarked that the title of Judge Kavanaugh will always belong to his mother, who served as a judge on the Montgomery County Circuit Court from 1993 to 2001. Currently, Brett Kavanaugh resides just outside of the nation’s capital with his wife, Ashley, and two daughters.
Kavanaugh attended Georgetown Preparatory School before moving on to Yale University
It has been reported that President Trump wanted to nominate a Judge with a sterling academic pedigree—specifically a graduate of Harvard or Yale. Judge Kavanaugh certainly checks this box as he earned both his Bachelor of Arts and his law degree from Yale. During his time at Yale Law School, Kavanaugh was a writer and notes editor for the Yale Law Review.
Judge Kavanaugh has had a long legal career in Washington
One of Judge Kavanaugh’s earliest posts was as a clerk for Anthony Kennedy, the justice he has been nominated to replace. In the 1990s Kavanaugh was a top deputy for independent counsel Kenneth Starr during the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. He then went on to work for Clinton’s successor, President George W. Bush, serving on the legal team that worked on the presidential vote recount in Florida and then as assistant to the president and staff secretary to the president from 2003 to 2006. Judge Kavanaugh was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 2006, after a controversial three-year confirmation process.
Kavanaugh is perhaps best known for his dissenting opinion in Heller v. District of Columbia– where he argued that the Second Amendment included the right to own semi-automatic rifles
In his opinion, Judge Kavanaugh argued that the Supreme Court had found handguns—many of which are semi-automatic—to be constitutionally protected and that semi-automatic rifles were therefore protected as well. He went on to state that “our task is to apply the Constitution and the precedents of the Supreme Court, regardless of whether the result is one we agree with as a matter of first principles or policy.”
Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination has been met with widespread praise from conservatives while many prominent Democrats have come out against it
Following the president’s announcement Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) described Judge Kavanaugh as a superb nominee while McConnell’s top deputy, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) praised Judge Kavanaugh as an “exceptionally qualified jurist who will be a fair and impartial arbiter of the law and will not legislate from the bench.” Conversely, Senate Democrats responded with intense opposition to the choice. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) stated he would oppose the nomination “with everything I have” while Senator (Sen.) Kamala Harris (D-CA) called Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination “a threat to the rights and health care of hundreds of millions of Americans.” Her statement echoed Democratic worries that Kavanaugh could be the deciding vote in cases that could decide the future of abortion and the Affordable Care Act.