President Donald Trump has decided on his Supreme Court nominee, a person with knowledge of the situation revealed today, hours before a prime-time TV announcement that will ignite a fierce confirmation battle.
The 53-year-old Kavanaugh is a longtime fixture of the Republican establishment.
A half-hour after Trump is scheduled to appear with his choice in an East Room ceremony, Demand Justice, MoveOn, Indivisible, and People for the American Way will gather at the Supreme Court for a rally in opposition.
It is not exaggeration to say that the prospect of tipping the balance of the Supreme Court was the reason why evangelical conservative voters, who had plenty of reason to worry about Trump's character, chose to stick with him during the 2016 election campaign.
While conservative on firearms and election financing, Kennedy showed a more progressive streak on issues such as abortion and affirmative action.
Democrats are certain to press Trump's latest nominee on the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationwide, a decision some conservatives - particularly conservative Christians - have long wanted to overturn. Three Democratic senators and one Republican senator from swing states declined the White House invitation to attend the announcement.
In 2000, Kavanaugh helped the Bush campaign cinch the Presidency by working on behalf of Bush in the Florida recount.
Kavanaugh recently voiced disagreement with a court decision allowing an undocumented teenage immigrant to get an abortion. It's not an arm of the White House.
"My judicial philosophy is straightforward".
Republicans control the Senate by a 51-49 majority, making any efforts by Democrats to thwart Trump's nominee an uphill battle. I believe that an independent judiciary is the crown jewel of our constitutional republic. If Barrett is nominated, she could face a hard confirmation process. "I will always strive to preserve the constitution of the United States and the American rule of law".
Once Trump names his nominee, all eyes will shift to a handful of moderate Democratic and Republican senators. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said during Kavanaugh's 2006 confirmation hearing.
From a reported list of 25 Supreme Court candidates, Trump said he has narrowed his choices.
"The Democrats are so upset that the Republicans have this opportunity of appointing nominees to the court that they just make every doggone appointment a cause celeb, and that's just ridiculous", he said. "We must do everything we can to stop this nomination".
From the other side of the aisle, Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) said that Trump's nomination of Kavanaugh "shows his commitment to selecting judges who are themselves committed to this restraint".
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called Kavanaugh "a superb choice" and said senators would start meeting with him this week.
"No president has ever consulted more widely, or talked with more people from more backgrounds to seek input abut a Supreme Court nomination".
Legal experts say his work on the D.C. Circuit bolsters his conservative credentials, but it also gives Democrats plenty of fodder on controversial topics in the looming confirmation fight such as a woman's access to abortion, gun rights, consumer protections and environmental regulations.