Kavanaugh denied any involvement in crafting legal policy allowing for harsh interrogation tactics during the Senate's consideration of his nomination to the D.C. Circuit in 2005 and 2006. He called Kavanaugh "one of the finest and sharpest legal minds of our time".
Kavanaugh has been dubbed a Washington insider, having worked in both Bush administrations, and is now a judge on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia circuit. He also was a key aide to Kenneth Starr during his investigation of President Bill Clinton and worked in the White House during George W. Bush's presidency.
Kavanaugh, 53, grew up in Maryland. "As I stressed to the president during our meeting two weeks ago, one of the most important jobs of any US senator is to fully vet any nominee to serve on the Supreme Court, the highest court in our land".
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Ma., says she will not support Kavanaugh's nomination and will vote no.
He also touched on his Catholic faith: "I am part of the vibrant Catholic community in the D.C. area". They're extreme anti-abortion folks.
The White House did announce its "sherpa" for the eventual selection: Former Sen.
"My judicial philosophy is straightforward", he said. "Judge Kavanaugh's record indicates he will interpret the Constitution as written and will not legislate from the bench". He has written roughly 300 opinions as a judge, authored several law journal articles, regularly taught law school classes and spoken frequently in public. According to the New York Times, Trump "found him likable but comparatively boring".
"Not being a politician, I think people wanted to hear what some of my choices may be, and it was pretty effective", Trump said of the list, on the day Kennedy's retirement was announced.
"It just seems like Trump in this case just bowed to the elite in Washington".
There's so much at stake with Donald Trump's pick. Feinstein is the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. "I will take the same approach as I have previously for a Supreme Court vacancy".
Republicans occupy 51 Senate seats.
Kavanaugh is likely to be more conservative than Justice Kennedy on a range of social issues. "The most important thing we can do". He is hoping to replicate his successful announcement of Justice Neil Gorsuch past year. Trump told reporters on Sunday that he is "very close to making a decision" and all four people on the list are "excellent". Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and Joe Donnelly of IN, all of whom face tough re-election bids. All three voted in favor of Neil Gorsuch, Trump's first Supreme Court nominee.
All three face gruelling re-election campaigns this year in their conservative states. Democrats, including Sen. Jon Tester, said Congress should vet the nominee according to its requirements. Kavanaugh responded that if confirmed, he would "follow Roe v. Wade faithfully and fully". "Why won't she rule out voting for Trump's anti-choice picks?" both ads ask.
Conservative judicial activists will immediately begin running ads pressuring politically vulnerable Democratic senators to vote for confirmation.
Still, Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, a member of the Republican leadership, said on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday that the Senate "can confirm any of the four names being mentioned". His final options were all young federal judges who could help remake the court for decades to come with precedent-shattering rulings on issues such as abortion, guns and health care.
Senate Republicans' stonewalling strategy extended to lower courts as well.
He has since added 12 years of service and more than 300 opinions on the appeals court.