WASHINGTON (AP) — 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.