WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBSNewYork) — President Donald Trump’s pick to fill the vacant Supreme Court seat headed to Capitol Hill to meet with lawmakers on Tuesday.
Federal Appeals Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh is an established conservative judge who has written roughly 300 opinions as a judge on the D.C. circuit. He’s making the rounds and meeting with Republican lawmakers, but he’s already facing a lot of opposition ahead of his confirmation hearings.
Kavanaugh posed for a photo-op Tuesday morning with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Vice President Mike Pence hours after his nomination.
“I think the president made an outstanding nomination and we look forward to the confirmation process and it will unfold over the next few weeks,” McConnell said.
“As the president said last night, Judge Brett Kavanaugh is quite simply the most qualified and most deserving nominee to the Supreme Court of the United States,” Pence added.
Democratic lawmakers, promising to prevent his confirmation, gathered Tuesday morning outside the Supreme Court.
“Now is the time to fight, now. Now is the time for American people to make their voices heard,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Schumer pointed to a 2009 article, where Kavanaugh argued “… we should not burden a sitting president with civil suits, criminal investigations, or criminal prosecution.”
“At a time when we have the Mueller investigation, Judge Kavanaugh is way at the extreme,” Schumer said.
The president took to Twitter earlier Tuesday morning, saying the “Supreme Court pick getting GREAT REVIEWS.”
The tweet comes hours after his primetime address announcing Kavanaugh as his choice to fill the seat of retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.
“There is no one in America more qualified for this position and no one more deserving,” Trump said during the announcement.
“A judge must be independent and must interpret the law, not make the law,” said Kavanaugh.
Kavanaugh, 53, who was joined by his wife and two young daughters, has supported conservative issues ranging from gun rights to anti-abortion cases and sided against net neutrality and many Obama-era EPA regulations.
“If confirmed by the Senate, I will keep an open mind in every case,” he said.
Getting confirmed will be tough, though. His nomination is expected to set off a fierce battle in the Senate, where Republicans hold a thin majority and Democrats are promising to put up a fight.
Kavanaugh’s potential appointment would solidify a conservative majority on the court.
“President Trump, with the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh, has fulfilled or is fulfilling two of his campaign promises,” said Schumer. “First, to undo a women’s reproductive freedom, second, to undo ACA. So I will oppose him with everything I’ve got.”
Kavanaugh was also on President George W. Bush’s legal team in the 2000 election recount and the Kenneth Starr investigation that led to President Bill Clinton’s impeachment.
The Senate is expected to vote on his nomination in the fall.