The Latest: Liberals rally on court steps against Kavanaugh

The Latest on President Donald Trump’s nomination of a Supreme Court justice (all times local):

10:30 p.m.

Democratic lawmakers and liberal groups are holding a raucous late-night rally on the steps of the Supreme Court to oppose President Trump’s nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.

The rally began shortly after Trump’s 9 p.m. Monday announcement and included chants of “Hell no on Kavanaugh.” The speakers say the nominee poses a threat to abortion rights and health care protections.

Several senators seen as possible White House candidates in 2020 addressed the crowd, including Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

Merkley says, “This nomination tonight is all about power over the people. ... I can tell you this is the most political of possible appointments. This is a nominee who wants to pave the path to tyranny.”

10:25 p.m.

Three Democratic senators facing tough re-election campaigns in strongly pro-Trump states are reacting cautiously to President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court choice.

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin is shedding the most light on his views about Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

Manchin says the Obama-era health care law provides crucial protections to 800,000 constituents with pre-existing medical conditions, so he says he wants to know Kavanaugh’s views on that statute. Some Democrats say based on Trump’s past statements, he’d favor a nominee leaning toward eviscerating that 2010 statute.

North Dakotan Heidi Heitkamp says she’ll “thoroughly review and vet” Kavanaugh’s record. And Indiana’s Joe Donnelly says he’ll weigh Kavanaugh’s “record and qualifications.”

Trump announced his nomination of Kavanaugh on Monday evening. He won each of the three states in 2016 by landslides.

Vice President Mike Pence plans to escort Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh to the Senate on Tuesday morning to meet with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The White House says Pence is also planning to attend the weekly Senate policy luncheon with Republican senators to discuss Trump’s nominee.

Pence was expected to sell the merits of the nominee in media interviews on local television and radio states in certain states that Trump won in 2016 that have Democratic senators.

The vice president was also holding a national outreach call with conservative and business stakeholders and appearing on two national television interviews from Capitol Hill.

Trump announced the nomination of Kavanaugh on Monday night.

9:50 p.m.

Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky says he’s keeping an “open mind” on President Donald Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court.

The conservative senator tweeted Monday that he looks forward to the upcoming Senate hearings, reviewing the circuit court judge’s record “and meeting personally with Judge Kavanaugh, with an open mind.”

Paul was among conservatives signing on to a statement of support last week for fellow conservative Sen. Mike Lee of Utah.

Conservative and libertarian-leaning activists raised concerns about Kavanaugh. Some conservatives said Paul said he might oppose a Kavanaugh nomination, but Paul did not publicly say he would vote against him.

9:30 p.m.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says that Judge Brett Kavanaugh is a “superb” Supreme Court pick and that senators should “put partisanship aside” in considering him.

President Donald Trump announced Kavanaugh’s nomination Monday evening.

Democrats are already lining up against Kavanaugh as too conservative. But McConnell says senators should give him “the fairness, respect, and seriousness that a Supreme Court nomination ought to command.”

McConnell says Kavanaugh believes judges should ignore their personal and political views and simply “interpret our laws as they are written.”

The Kentucky Republican faces a challenge in winning Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

Republicans hold a mere 50-49 Senate majority, with the prolonged absence of the ailing Arizona GOP Sen. John McCain. The defection of one Republican would kill the nomination unless at least one Democrat votes yes.


9:25 p.m.

Judge Brett Kavanaugh says he is “humbled” and “deeply honored” to have been selected by President Donald Trump for the Supreme Court.

Kavanaugh told the president Monday night as he took the microphone to accept his nomination that he was “grateful to you” and “humbled by your confidence in me.”

He also says he is “deeply honored” to be nominated to fill the seat of retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, for whom he clerked.

Kavanaugh says that if he’s confirmed, he “will keep an open mind in every case” and “always strive to preserve the Constitution of the United States and the American rule of law.”

He also thanked his parents and talked about his young daughters, whose basketball teams he coaches. He says his daughters’ teammates call him “Coach K.”

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9:20 p.m.

The Senate’s top Democrat says President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court puts abortion rights and health care protections for women “on the judicial chopping block.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says by picking Kavanaugh, Trump is delivering on his pledge to “punish” women for their choices.

He says he will fight the nomination “with everything I have.” He’s urging people to make their voices heard, an indirect reference to voicing their objections to senators.

Schumer says if Kavanaugh is confirmed, “women’s reproductive rights would be in the hands of five men on the Supreme Court.”

Schumer and other Democrats have cited campaign statements Trump made to assert that any of the candidates Trump mulled would oppose abortion rights and the Obama-era health care law.

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9:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump has introduced his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as “a judge’s judge” and cited his “proven commitment to equal justice under the law.”

Trump announced Kavanaugh as his pick Monday night on prime-time television.

The 53-year-old Kavanaugh is a longtime fixture of the Republican establishment. He has been a judge on the federal appeals court in Washington since 2006. He also was a key aide to Kenneth Starr during the investigation of President Bill Clinton. Kavanaugh also worked in the White House during George W. Bush’s presidency.

Trump says Kavanaugh has “impeccable credentials and unsurpassed qualifications.”

Trump made the announcement in the East Room of the White House and rousing applause broke out as Kavanaugh entered with his wife and two daughters.

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9:10 p.m.

President Donald Trump made his final decision to nominate Judge Brett Kavanaugh on Sunday night.

A senior White House official says Trump called Kavanaugh on Sunday evening to inform him that he was his choice to be nominated to the Supreme Court.

On Monday, Trump phoned Justice Anthony Kennedy to inform him that his former law clerk would be nominated to fill his seat. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also received a heads-up from the president. The president briefed Senate Republicans at the White House Monday evening shortly before making the public announcement.

The official says Trump decided on Kavanaugh because of his large body of jurisprudence cited by other courts, describing him as a judge that other judges read.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity to describe internal discussions.

— Associated Press writer Zeke Miller contributed

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9:05 p.m.

President Donald Trump is nominating influential conservative Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court as he seeks to shift the nation’s highest court further to the right.

Trump chose the 53-year-old federal appellate judge for the seat opened up by the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy. Kavanaugh would be less receptive to abortion and gay rights than Kennedy was.

Kavanaugh is Trump’s second high court pick after Justice Neil Gorsuch. Kavanaugh and Gorsuch served as law clerks to Kennedy at the same time early in their legal careers.

Kavanaugh is a longtime fixture of the Republican legal establishment. He has been a judge on the federal appeals court in Washington since 2006. He also was a key aide to Kenneth Starr during his investigation of President Bill Clinton and worked in the White House during George W. Bush’s presidency.

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9 p.m.

A senior White House official says President Donald Trump intends to nominate influential conservative judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court as he seeks to shift the balance of the court further to the right.

Trump plans to announce Monday that he has selected the 53-year-old federal appellate judge for the seat opened up by the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy. The official spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of the official announcement.

Kavanaugh is a longtime fixture of the Republican legal establishment. He has been a judge on the federal appeals court in Washington since 2006. He also was a key aide to Kenneth Starr during his investigation of President Bill Clinton and worked in the White House during George W. Bush’s presidency.



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