US senators take sides on Trump's Supreme Court pick

President Donald Trump talks with Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Kavanaugh’s family after nominating him to the Supreme Court

Republicans control the chamber, and they are eager to play a role in firming up the court's conservative majority to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, a swing vote.

The annual salary in 2018 for a circuit court judge is $220,600, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

In addition, Donnelly says he will review Kavanaugh's rulings and writing in legal publications.

Roughly 25.6 million people tuned-in to major broadcast and TV news networks Monday evening to watch Mr. Trump nominate Brett Kavanaugh to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy - about 21 percent fewer than the almost 33 million who watched live previous year when the president picked Neil Gorsuch to replace late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, AdWeek first reported.

Still, Democrats are pointing to that case as a red flag as Congress considers elevating Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) promised to oppose Kavanaugh with "everything I've got." Sen. But one thing is clear: If Trump thinks this is going to be Gorsuch 2.0 - a relatively smooth process that inured to the president's political benefit on the way to an inevitable confirmation - he is mistaken.

Grassley noted that Democrats were saying this before the announcement was even made.

"And my view is a litmus test on any case is not the appropriate line of questioning".

Compared to their initial attacks on Kavanaugh, Democrats are putting less stress in recent days on the possibility that he could threaten Roe v Wade, a landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision supporting abortion rights. They see that as concerning amid the ongoing special counsel probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election. "And, frankly, I think it's pathetic that one issue like that would cause an otherwise really outstanding person to have the Democrats go against them".

Leonard Leo, Vice President of the Federalist Society, has been called the puppeteer behind Trump's court choices, but that narrative overlooks the influence of McGahn, also a Federalist Society member.

"My judicial philosophy is straightforward: A judge must be independent and must interpret the law, not make the law. He has to care more about the court's legacy", Covington explained.

Amar wrote that each Senate Democrat should pledge "either to vote yes for Judge Kavanaugh's confirmation - or, if voting no, to first publicly name at least two clearly better candidates whom a Republican president might realistically have nominated instead".

While Kavanaugh has an impressive and lengthy resume in government and federal judicial service, he is just 53 years old, meaning that if he's confirmed, he could influence the court's direction for decades to come. The South Carolina Republican said afterward that the days of a more balanced court are over with Kavanaugh's nomination pushing it in a more conservative direction.

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