President Donald J. Trump announced his intent to nominate Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement.
The nomination of Judge Kavanaugh comes after a selection process marked by a historic degree of transparency, including the President’s public disclosure of a list of 25 highly qualified potential nominees to the Supreme Court.
Brett Kavanaugh has served for over a decade as a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit—referred to as the “Second Highest Court in the Land”—building a first-rate judicial record and reputation.
Judge Kavanaugh is a brilliant jurist with impeccable legal credentials and a clear, effective writing style. He is universally respected for his intellect, persuasiveness, and ability to build consensus. He understands that the role of a judge is to faithfully interpret the law, not to legislate from the bench. His authoritative legal opinions are known to shape the law and are often cited by judges around the country.
Alongside his long career of public service, he is a youth basketball coach, a church volunteer, a family man, and a mentor in local schools. His mother, Maryland Circuit Court Judge Martha Kavanaugh, blazed a trail for women in the legal profession. He and his wife Ashley have two school-aged children.
Judge Kavanaugh is the best of the best, who builds consensus and decides cases based on the law, not personal policy preferences.
Judge Kavanaugh once wrote, “The judge’s job is to interpret the law, not to make the law or make policy. So read the words of the statute as written. Read the text of the Constitution as written, mindful of history and tradition. Don’t make up new constitutional rights that are not in the text of the Constitution. Don’t shy away from enforcing constitutional rights that are in the text of the Constitution.”
Judge Kavanaugh has an impressive career of public service.
He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on May 26, 2006, to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Sixteen current Senators—including one sitting Democrat—voted to confirm him.
Prior to serving on the court, Judge Kavanaugh had broad experience in private practice and in government service. He served in the White House as Senior Associate White House Counsel and eventually as Staff Secretary to President George W. Bush. Earlier in his career, he served as Associate Counsel to the Independent Counsel, Ken Starr; a Bristow fellow in the Office of the Solicitor General; and a partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP, where he specialized in appellate litigation.
Judge Kavanaugh’s academic credentials are superb.
After graduating with honors from Yale College in 1987, Judge Kavanaugh graduated from Yale Law School in 1990, where he was a Notes Editor on the Yale Law Journal. He clerked for Justice Anthony Kennedy of the Supreme Court, Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski, and Third Circuit Judge Walter Stapleton.
Statements of Support for Judge Brett Kavanaugh Pour In
Eighteen of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s female law clerks, 26 State Attorneys General, and more than 160 members of the Yale University community have signed letters praising his unsurpassed qualifications for a seat on the United States Supreme Court.
Judge Kavanaugh’s female law clerks speak highly of the support and mentorship that he has provided, stating unequivocally that he “has been one of the strongest advocates in the federal judiciary for women lawyers.” Read the letter from Judge Kavanaugh’s female law clerks here.
A majority of the Nation’s State Attorneys General are urging the United States Senate to confirm Judge Kavanaugh, describing him as “an outstanding jurist with a proven commitment to upholding the Constitution and the rule of law.” Read the letter from the Nation’s states Attorneys General here.
Yale students, alumni, and faculty signed a letter highlighting Judge Kavanaugh as “a faithful servant to his community” and praising him as “one of our nation’s most distinguished jurists.” Read the letter from the Yale community here.