If confirmed by the Senate, Kavanaugh will become Trump's second appointment to the Supreme Court following Neil Gorsuch's appointment in April 2017.
Kavanaugh has served as a judge on the US Court of Appeals in Washington since 2006. Between 2003 and 2006, the 53-year-old Beltway insider and Yale graduate served as White House Secretary in the Bush administration, coordinating all documents to and from the president.
Before that, Kavanaugh worked with Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr in the investigation to impeach President Bill Clinton over his sexual indiscretion with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky and Clinton's perjury in a sworn deposition. He also worked with Starr in the earlier investigation into the suicide of Clinton aide Vince Foster.
With his record as a solid social conservative, Kavanaugh's nomination, combined with the comparatively centrist Judge Kennedy's departure, is expected to move the Supreme Court right on issues including abortion rights, affirmative action, the death penalty, gay rights, and gun rights.
Will There Be a Senate Battle?
With the Republicans enjoying a 51 vote majority in the 100 member Senate, Kavanaugh is expected to face a confirmation vote before November's midterm elections, with a simple majority enough to confirm him. So far, Senate watchers believe the more independent-minded Republican senators will vote with the party to approve the Trump pick. Democrats have vowed to oppose him with 'everything they've got', a strategy which analysts say may backfire if they want rogue Republicans' support.
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, a well-known critic of Bush-era policy, has been singled out as a possible obstacle to Kavanaugh's confirmation, but Tweeted Monday that he would look at the nominee "with an open mind."
I look forward to the upcoming hearings, reviewing the record, and meeting personally with Judge Kavanaugh, with an open mind.— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) 10 июля 2018 г.
Alaska Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski and Maine Senator Susan Collins, both of whom have a pro-abortion rights stance, are two more possible hurdles for Trump. However, both women voted to confirm Neil Gorsuch last year. Both also voted to confirm Kavanaugh in 2006, and again in 2017. The senators promised to 'carefully review' Kavanaugh's qualifications and record for the Supreme Court job.