Watch live: President Trump announces Supreme Court pick
Dis kennedys short. Of setting the country to war naming nominees to the Supreme Court is arguably, a president's, most consequential, power, and, with a choice of Kavanagh a reliable, conservative, the president cements, the courts conservative, tilt chief, White House correspondent Hallie. Jackson is, in the East Room Hallie give us a sense of what's, been happening today leading up to this choice a lot, of deliberations, Lester as the president, made this decision to choose Brett Kavanaugh who we expect to see walk through those doors any moment, this is a moment, that the president, understands, our sources, tell us he gets the weight of this decision how it could reshape the Supreme Court for a generation Kavanaugh. From nearly the very beginning had been considered, widely, the front-runner, now, the confirmation. Battle could begin if Republicans, stick together there is nothing that will stop Cavanaugh, from getting confirmed, but if not the, focus will turn to four key red, state Democrats Lester, alright Hallie we expect the president to walk in, United, States. My. Fellow Americans. Tonight. I speak, to you from. The East Room of the White House. Regarding. One of the most, profound. Responsibility. Of the. President, of the United. States and that is the selection of, a, Supreme. Court, justice. I've. Often heard that other than matters of war and peace this. Is the most important, decision a, president. Will, make the. Supreme Court is. Entrusted. With the. Safeguarding. Of the, crown jewel, of our republic, the. Constitution. Of the United States. 12. Days ago, Justice. Anthony Kennedy. Informed. Me of his decision, to take, senior, status on the Supreme Court, opening. A new, vacancy. For. More than four decades Justice. Kennedy, served our nation with. Incredible. Passion, and, devotion. I'd. Like to thank Justice. Kennedy for, a lifetime of, distinguished. Service. In. A few moments I will announce my selection, for Justice. Kennedy's replacement. This. Is the second, time I have been faced with, this task, last. Year I nominated, judge. Neil, Gorsuch, to. Replace the, late great, Justice. Antonin. Scalia. I chose. Justice. Courses because. I knew that he just. Liked Justice. Scalia would. Be a faithful, servant, of our. Constitution. We. Are honored to be joined tonight, by, Justice. Scalia's, beloved, wife Maureen. Thank you me. Both. Justice. Kennedy and Justice, Scalia were appointed. By a president, who understood, that the best defense of, our Liberty and a judicial branch, immune. From political, prejudice, were. Judges. That, apply, the. Constitution. As written. That. President, happened. To be Ronald. Reagan, for. This evenings announcement, we are joined by Ronald, Reagan's Attorney General, Edwin. Meese. And, then I speak for everyone, thank you for everything you've done to protect our nation's.
Great. Legal, heritage. In. Keeping, with President, Reagan's, legacy I do not ask about a nominees, personal. Opinions. What. Matters is not a judge's, political, views but whether they can set, aside those. Views to, do what the law and the Constitution. Require. I, am. Pleased to say that I have found without. Doubt. Such. A person. Tonight. It. Is my honor and privilege to announce that I will nominate judge. Brett, Kavanaugh, to. The United States Supreme. Court. I. Know. The people in this room very well they do not stand and give applause like that very often so they have some respect, in. Bret's. Wife. Ashley, and their, two daughters Margaret, and Liza have joined us on the podium and thank you and congratulations. To you as a family. Judge, Cavanaugh, has impeccable. Credentials, unsurpassed. Qualifications. And a proven commitment, to equal, justice under. The, law a graduate. Of Yale College and, Yale Law School Judge, Cavanaugh, currently, teaches at Harvard Yale. And Georgetown. Throughout. Legal circles he is considered, a judges, judge a true. Thought leader among. His peers he's. A brilliant jurist with, a clear, and effective writing, style. Universally. Regarded as, one of the finest, and sharpest, legal minds of our. Time and. Just. Like justice, Gorsuch he. Excelled, as a clerk for, Justice. Kennedy. Judge. Cavanaugh has devoted his life to public service for. The last 12 years he, has served as a judge on, the DC Circuit. Court, of Appeals with. Great distinction. Authoring. Over, 300, opinions, which have been widely admired for, their skill insight, and rigorous. Adherence to. The, law among. Those opinions are more than a dozen that the Supreme Court has adopted as the law of the land, beyond. His great renown, as a judge he is active, in his community he. Coaches CYO. Basketball. Serves. Meals, to, needy families and. Having. Learned from his mom who, was a schoolteacher in DC, tutors. Children, at local, elementary. Schools, there. Is no one in America, more qualified, for this position and no. One more. Deserving I. Want. To thank the. Senators, on, both sides, of the aisle. Republican. And Democrat, for their consultation. And advice during the selection. Process. This. Incredibly. Qualified nominee. Deserves a swift confirmation and.
Robust. Bipartisan. Support, the. Rule of law is our. Nation's. Proud heritage, it is. The cornerstone of our, freedom it is, what guarantees, equal. Justice. And the. Senate now, has the chance to protect, this. Glorious, heritage by. Sending, Judge, Brett, Kavanaugh, to. The United States Supreme. Court and now. Judge. The. Podium is yours. Mr.. President, thank. You. Throughout. This process I have. Witnessed, firsthand. Your. Appreciation. For the vital role of the American, judiciary. No. President, has ever, consulted. More widely or talked. With more people for, more backgrounds. To. Seek input, about, a Supreme Court nomination. Mr.. President, I am grateful, to you and, I'm. Humbled by your confidence, in me thank. You. Thirty. Years ago. President. Reagan, nominated Anthony, Kennedy the Supreme Court. The. Framers, established. That the Constitution. Is. Designed. To secure, the blessings of, liberty. Justice. Kennedy, devoted, his career to, securing. Liberty, I am. Deeply, honored. To. Be nominated to, fill, his seat on the Supreme, Court. My. Mom and dad are here I. Am. Their only child. When. People, ask what it's like to be an only child. I say. It. Depends, on who your parents are, I. Was. Lucky my. Mom was a teacher in the, 1960s. And 70s she, taught history at two largely, african-american, public, high schools in Washington DC. McKinley. Tech and HD. Woodson. Her. Example, taught. Me the importance, of equality for all Americans. My. Mom was a trailblazer, when. I was 10 she went to law school and became a prosecutor. My. Introduction, to law came, at our dinner table, when. She practiced, her closing arguments. Her. Trademark line, was, use. Your common sense. What. Rings true, what. Rings false. That's. Good advice for a juror and for. A son. One. Of the few women prosecutors. At that time she overcame, barriers and became a trial judge the. President. Introduced, me tonight as Judge Cavanaugh. But. To me that title, will always belong to my mom. My. Dad went to law school at night while working full time, he. Has an unparalleled, work ethic, and, has passed down to me his passion, for playing and watching. Sports, I, love. Him dearly. The. Motto of my Jesuit, High School was. Meant for others I've. Tried to live that Creed, I've. Spent my career in public service from, the executive, branch and the White House to. The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit I, have. Served with 17, other judges, each, of them a colleague. And, a, friend. My. Judicial philosophy, is straightforward, a judge. Must be independent, and must. Interpret, the law not. Make the law a judge. Must interpret statutes as, written. And a, judge must interpret, the Constitution. As written, informed. By. History, and, tradition. And precedent. For. The past eleven, years I've taught hundreds, of students, primarily. At Harvard Law School I, teach. That the Constitution's. Separation of. Powers, protects. Individual, liberty, and, I. Remain grateful to. The Dean who hired me, justice. Elena Kagan as. A. Judge I hire for law clerks each year I look. For the best, my. Law clerks come from diverse backgrounds and, points of view, I am. Proud that, a, majority, of my law clerks have been women I. Am. Part of the vibrant Catholic, community, in the, DC area. The. Members of that community. Disagree. About many things but. We, are united by, a commitment, to serve. Father. John Ensler is here. 40. Years ago I was an altar boy for father, John. These. Days I helped him serve meals to the homeless at, Catholic, Charities I. Have. Two spirited. Daughters. Margaret. And Liza. Margaret. Loves sports, and, she. Loves to read. Liza. Loves sports and she. Loves to talk. I. Have. Tried to create bonds with my daughter's like my dad created, with me. For. The past seven years I, have coached my daughter's basketball teams, the. Girls on the team call, me coach Kay. I. Am. Proud of our Blessed Sacrament team that just won the city championship. My. Daughters, and I also go to lots of games our favorite. Memory was going to the historic. Notre Dame UConn, women's basketball game, at this year's final, for.
Unforgettable. My. Wife Ashley is a West Texan, a, graduate. Of Abilene Cooper public high school and the University, of Texas. She. Is now the town manager of our community. We. Met in 2001. When we both worked in the White House, our. First date was on September, 10th 2001. The. Next warning as a few steps behind her as the, Secret Service shouted. At all of us to. Spring out the front gates of the White House, because. There was an, inbound. Plane. In. The. Difficult, weeks that followed. Ashley. Was a source of strength for. President, Bush and, for. Everyone, in this building. Through. Bad days and so, many better days since. Then she. Has been a great wife an inspiring. Mom I, thank. God every, day for my family. Tomorrow. I begin meeting, with members of the Senate which plays an essential role, in this, process, I, will. Tell each senator, that. I revere, the Constitution. I. Believe. That an independent judiciary, is the. Crown jewel of our constitutional. Republic if. Confirmed. By the Senate, I. Will. Keep an open mind in, every case and. I. Will always strive, to. Preserve the Constitution of, the United States, and the. American, rule of law, Thank. You mr. president. President, Trump making an official naming 53, year old US appeals court judge Brett Kavanaugh, as his choice become, the next justice, to the US Supreme Court let me bring in our justice correspondent Pete. Williams in Washington, give us the points we should know off the bat here Pete, last, year President Trump chose a former, law clerk of Anthony Kennedy and Neil, Gorsuch, this year he chose a former. Law clerk to Justice Kennedy in Brett, Kavanaugh, Brett, Kavanaugh, was a law clerk the same year, as Neal Gorsuch, I can't I don't think that's ever happened in Supreme Court history the. Two former, clerks who served at the same time, have, been nominated to, the Supreme Court, one now on one now hoping to be on just. Judge judge, Kavanagh has been a district, court or at peels court judge for 12 years here service, in the George W Bush administration service. With Ken Starr the Senate, had hoped they that prompt Trump would choose someone else but obviously the president thought. Otherwise Lester, all right Pete let me go to Chuck Todd he has been described as a man with with, clear conservative. Credentials and has spoken out written on the issue of whether, president, should be distracted, by. Investigations. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and think Democrats are gonna seize on that very quickly. Let's. Start I think they are I mean look I think in his confirmation hearings, you're gonna hear a lot about that you're gonna hear about a lot of some. Of the work he did in, his political, background, his sort of pre legal background, on that front and yes I think the idea of whether, a sitting, president can, be subject, of a criminal inquiry, he. Worked a judge, cabin I worked for Ken Starr and has written a review article that basically, says in hindsight we. Distracted. President, Clinton too. Much and he should have been able to focus on getting for instance Osama bin Laden at the time but, let me tell you this overall Lester I think this is a pic that, is a very confirmable. Pick Brett, Kavanaugh has already, gotten the support once, of the two moderate Republican, senators, Murkowski, and Collins he'll likely get it again all, right Chuck Todd thank you very much and we, will of course have continuing, coverage on your late local news Brett. Kavanaugh, now nominated, by, President, Trump to become the next justice to the US Supreme Court I'm Lester Holt thank you for watching have a good. Welcome. Back to downtown, Minneapolis in. US Bank Stadium well, we're about halfway through city, qualified, and apart.