WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court Monday, to fill the vacancy created when Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement June 27.
Kavanaugh, 53, currently serves on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, and has done so since 2006.
In a brief speech after the announcement, Kavanaugh spoke about the importance of his Catholic upbringing and how it has affected his career.
The July 9 announcement came after much speculation over how Trump will choose to shape the Supreme Court during his first term. This is the second vacancy he has filled; previously, he appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
Confirmation hearings are expected to begin shortly in the Senate.
During his announcement address, Trump said that Kavanaugh “has devoted his life to public service.”
After being introduced, Kavanaugh said he is “deeply honored” to be nominated.
“The motto of my Jesuit high school was ‘men for others,’” said Kavanaugh, who graduated from Georgetown Preparatory School near Washington, D.C. “I have tried to live that creed.”
“I am part of the vibrant Catholic community in the D.C. area,” he said at his nomination. “The members of that community disagree about many things, but we are united in our commitment to serve.”
Kavanaugh highlighted his commitment to service, both in and out of the courtroom. He volunteers serving meals to the homeless, coaching his daughter’s basketball team, and tutoring at an elementary school.
He made special mention of Msgr. John Enzler, the president and CEO of Catholic Charities, who was present at the announcement.
“Forty years ago, I was an altar boy for Father John,” said Kavanaugh, adding that they now serve the homeless together through his work with Catholic Charities.
Before his appointment to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, he worked in the George W. Bush administration.
Bush said that Kavanaugh “is a brilliant jurist who has faithfully applied the Constitution and laws throughout his 12 years on the DC Circuit. He is a fine husband, father and friend — a man of the highest integrity."
Kavanaugh, who also clerked for Justice Kennedy, received his undergraduate and law degrees from Yale University. He and his wife, Ashley, have two daughters.
Not much is known regarding his personal views. Kavanaugh recently wrote a decision that prevented a pregnant undocumented minor in federal custody from receiving an abortion. The decision was overturned by another court.
Kavanaugh has written dissents in the past opposing undocumented persons voting in union elections and was opposed to expanding visas to foreign workers when there were Americans who could do the job.
His 2015 ruling on the HHS contraception mandate was met with a mixed response. While he sided with Priests for Life in their case against the Obama administration, he appeared to acknowledge a “compelling” interest in the availability of government-provided contraception, which had previously been recognized by members of the Supreme Court.
In a case involving the Washington Metro’s prohibition on religious-themed advertisements, including an ad by the Archdiocese of Washington, Kavanaugh was “unrelenting” in his questioning of the Metro’s lawyer, saying that he believed the prohibition was “discriminatory.”