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Trump nominates 53-year-old Kavanaugh

President Donald Trump announces his Supreme Court pick, Brett Kavanaugh, to fill the seat created by Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement.

Posted: Jul 10, 2018 6:12 PM
Updated: Jul 10, 2018 6:31 PM

President Donald Trump announced on Monday his decision to nominate Brett Kavanaugh to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by Justice Anthony Kennedy's decision to retire.

Kavanaugh, 53, currently serves as a judge on the powerful US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Here's where he stands on some hot-button issues:

Roe v. Wade

Kavanaugh has not expressed outright opposition to Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion nationwide. In 2006, Sen. Chuck Schumer, now the Senate Democratic leader, pressed Kavanaugh on his personal opinion on Roe, but he declined to answer, saying, "I don't think it would be appropriate for me to give a personal view on that case." The exchange took place during a hearing to consider Kavanaugh's nomination to serve on the DC circuit.

Kavanaugh did say, however, that if he became a judge on the circuit court, he would uphold Supreme Court precedent with respect to Roe. "If confirmed to the DC Circuit, I would follow Roe v. Wade faithfully and fully. That would be binding precedent of the court. It has been decided by the Supreme Court."

Because he was a swing-vote in favor of abortion rights, Kennedy's departure from the court has sparked alarm among abortion rights activists that Roe v. Wade could be overturned. In addition, Trump has long vowed to appoint justices who would reverse Roe and allow states to determine whether abortion should be legal.

Abortion

One of Kavanaugh's opinions likely to draw scrutiny from senators is a his dissent from a ruling of the DC Circuit last October that an undocumented immigrant teen in detention was entitled to seek an abortion.

In his dissent, Kavanaugh wrote the Supreme Court has held that "the government has permissible interests in favoring fetal life, protecting the best interests of a minor, and refraining from facilitating abortion." He wrote that the high court has "held that the government may further those interests so long as it does not impose an undue burden on a woman seeking an abortion." He said the majority opinion was "based on a constitutional principle as novel as it is wrong: a new right for unlawful immigrant minors in US government detention to obtain immediate abortion on demand." He added, however, that "all parties to this case recognize Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey as precedents we must follow."

Religious liberty

Kavanaugh's opinion in a case involving a challenge under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to the Affordable Care Act's so-called contraceptive mandate, Priests for Life v. HHS, has also drawn scrutiny. In a dissent, he expressed sympathy for the religious challengers. Making reference to the Supreme Court's ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, he wrote that "the regulations substantially burden the religious organizations' exercise of religion because the regulations require the organizations to take an action contrary to their sincere religious beliefs."

In a line that has attracted some conservative criticism, however, Kavanaugh also wrote in his dissent that Supreme Court precedent "strongly suggests that the government has a compelling interest in facilitating access to contraception for the employees of these religious organizations."

Separation of powers and executive branch authority

In his time on the DC Circuit, Kavanaugh established a reputation as a skeptic of regulatory action supported by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Obama administration.

In 2012, he argued in a dissenting opinion that the EPA "exceeded its statutory authority" in a case challenging the agency over the regulation of greenhouse gases. In a separate 2014 opinion, Kavanaugh was again critical of the EPA, writing, "In my view, it is unreasonable for EPA to exclude consideration of costs in determining whether it is 'appropriate' to impose significant new regulations on electric utilities."

In a decision suggesting broad skepticism of agency power, Kavanaugh dissented when the DC Circuit upheld the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, run by a single director, earlier this year, writing, "The independent agencies collectively constitute, in effect, a headless fourth branch of the US Government. They hold enormous power over the economic and social life of the United States. Because of their massive power and the absence of Presidential supervision and direction, independent agencies pose a significant threat to individual liberty and to the constitutional system of separation of powers and checks and balances. To mitigate the risk to individual liberty, the independent agencies historically have been headed by multiple commissioners or board members."

Separately, in a 2009 Minnesota Law Review article, he wrote that "Congress might consider a law exempting a President -- while in office -- from criminal prosecution and investigation, including from questioning by criminal prosecutors or defense counsel." In the same article, however, he noted, "If the President does something dastardly, the impeachment process is available."

Second Amendment

In 2011, Kavanaugh dissented from a majority opinion of the DC Circuit that upheld a ban that applied to semiautomatic rifles in the District of Columbia.

In his dissent, he wrote that the Supreme Court had previously "held that handguns -- the vast majority of which today are semi-automatic -- are constitutionally protected because they have not traditionally been banned and are in common use by law-abiding citizens."

Citing a previous high court ruling, Kavanaugh went on to say, "It follows from Heller's protection of semi-automatic handguns that semi-automatic rifles are also constitutionally protected and that DC's ban on them is unconstitutional."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 658043

Reported Deaths: 12467
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion902221628
Lake48163871
Allen35614632
Hamilton31884394
St. Joseph29615510
Elkhart25291412
Vanderburgh21148377
Tippecanoe19815197
Johnson16262353
Porter15867268
Hendricks15744297
Clark11860179
Madison11688315
Vigo11520228
Monroe10267158
Delaware9800178
LaPorte9725194
Howard9024194
Kosciusko8519107
Bartholomew7394147
Warrick7380147
Hancock7379128
Floyd7149165
Wayne6597189
Grant6406157
Morgan6044124
Boone604188
Dubois5876111
Dearborn541266
Henry539892
Marshall5397104
Cass538999
Noble507575
Jackson462663
Shelby458890
Lawrence4161111
Gibson400581
Harrison395960
Clinton393353
DeKalb382878
Montgomery382883
Miami355163
Knox354484
Whitley347235
Huntington339276
Steuben336355
Wabash329575
Putnam326559
Ripley325261
Adams320749
Jasper313643
White295651
Jefferson293270
Daviess284496
Fayette270555
Decatur269688
Greene260278
Posey260031
Wells256074
Scott248947
LaGrange240270
Clay239444
Randolph225076
Spencer216130
Jennings214044
Washington208727
Sullivan202239
Fountain200641
Starke186450
Owen181652
Fulton177437
Jay177328
Carroll175718
Perry172635
Orange170450
Rush164222
Vermillion159040
Franklin158435
Tipton145641
Parke138415
Pike127232
Blackford120327
Pulaski106243
Newton96431
Brown94839
Benton91213
Crawford90113
Martin80014
Switzerland7527
Warren74712
Union66810
Ohio52811
Unassigned0428

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 959995

Reported Deaths: 17045
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1111071193
Cuyahoga945941709
Hamilton72643947
Montgomery46983875
Summit39720942
Butler35094460
Lucas34829757
Stark29061835
Warren22166270
Lorain21781386
Mahoning19282537
Lake18210300
Clermont18200206
Delaware16289129
Licking14832197
Fairfield14401156
Trumbull14171455
Greene13481211
Medina13220219
Clark12139333
Wood11411193
Portage10870153
Allen10715232
Richland10184205
Miami9954179
Columbiana8052179
Muskingum8046123
Tuscarawas7984235
Pickaway796798
Marion7944135
Wayne7799217
Erie6803183
Ross6083136
Geauga5996129
Hancock5945110
Scioto5886105
Ashtabula5884143
Lawrence520373
Union506552
Darke5013122
Belmont483987
Sandusky473393
Jefferson4726107
Huron4722117
Seneca4624103
Athens457331
Mercer4570101
Auglaize454498
Washington452186
Shelby439167
Knox398584
Putnam3967101
Madison389147
Ashland375495
Fulton375364
Defiance3682102
Brown367842
Crawford355396
Preble351070
Logan350158
Clinton336862
Highland324455
Ottawa319667
Williams299777
Jackson287756
Guernsey284034
Champaign283145
Fayette266343
Perry265943
Morrow257224
Henry243665
Holmes2420104
Hardin241957
Coshocton230847
Van Wert227849
Gallia219846
Adams213732
Pike212825
Wyandot207952
Hocking192248
Carroll178928
Paulding158023
Meigs133836
Noble128142
Monroe115336
Morgan99734
Harrison99632
Vinton76515
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