President Trump Appoints Justice Brett Kavanaugh to High Court

This week, President Donald Trump appointed federal appeals court judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill the U.S. Supreme Court seat vacated by retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. Kavanaugh currently sits on the bench of the federal court of appeals for the District of Columbia, a frequent stepping stone to the highest court. President George W. Bush appointed him to that post in 2006.

Justice Kavanaugh has issued opinions supporting religious liberty and upholding restrictions on a woman’s right to an abortion. He recently issued a dissenting opinion in a case in which his colleagues voted in favor of allowing a minor seeking asylum in the U.S. to obtain an abortion while under confinement at the border. If confirmed, he would establish a conservative majority on the court for the next decade or longer.

A majority of Senators must vote to confirm his appointment, and currently, Republicans hold a slight majority in the Senate at 51. Opponents can delay a vote on his candidacy, it but it is unlikely that they can prohibit confirmation from going forward. Neither the USCCB, nor the Missouri Catholic Conference take positions in support of or in opposition to Supreme Court nominees. The USCCB has called upon Senators in their deliberations on Kavanaugh’s appointment not to make support for the Roe v. Wade decision a litmus test for his confirmation, calling such a test an “impoverished standard for assessing judicial ability.”