According to CNA/EWTN News, the 53-year-old Kavanaugh, who currently serves on the prestigious US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, has been nominated to fill the vacancy on the high court which was left by retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.
In his brief acceptance speech last night, Kavanaugh spoke glowingly about his family and his faith.
“The motto of my Jesuit high school was ‘men for others’,” said Kavanaugh. “I have tried to live that creed.”
Born on February 12, 1965 to Martha Gamble (Murphy) and Everett Edward Kavanaugh, Jr., he was raised in Bethesda, Maryland and went to school at Mater Dei elementary school and the Jesuit-run Georgetown Preparatory School.
In addition to serving as a lector at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Washington, DC, the former altar boy serves meals at St. Maria’s Meals at Catholic Charities in Washington and tutors students at the Washington Jesuit Academy and a local elementary school. He also coaches a number of girls’ basketball teams and has run in the Boston Marathon twice.
He met his wife Ashley in the White House when she was working as the personal secretary of President George W. Bush and he was serving as Senior Associate Counsel to the President. Their first date was September 10, 2001, the day before the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. The couple eventually married and have two daughters.
His parents were both present when he accepted the nomination last night and listened to him praise their devotion to faith and family. He specifically mentioned his mother’s first vocation as a teacher in predominantly African-American schools, an experience which he said taught him how important it is that all people are treated equally. He was 10 years-old when she decided to return to school and become a lawyer, then went on to serve as a Maryland Circuit Court Judge until 2001.
Kavanaugh is known as a champion of religious liberty. As National Review reports, “his dissenting opinion in Priests for Life v. HHS, where he concluded that the Obama administration’s contraceptive mandate violated the rights of religious organizations, was called ‘pure perfection’ by one of the lawyers challenging the mandate.”
His stance on the issue of life is equally impressive. In Garza v. Hargan, a case involving a teen immigrant who was seeking an abortion, Kavanaugh rejected the ACLU’s assertion of a new constitutional right of abortion on-demand for illegal immigrant minors in U.S. custody. He concluded that requiring the Trump administration to assists a teen immigrant in getting an abortion would fail to recognize the government’s “permissible interest in favoring fetal life, protecting the best interests of a minor, and refraining from facilitating abortion.”
As for the future of Roe v. Wade, during his confirmation hearing in 2006 for the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, he stated that he considered Roe to be binding under the principle of stare decisis and would seek to uphold the ruling of the higher court. However, he has also ruled in favor of abortion restrictions in several cases.
Pro-life organizations are heaping praise on the president’s pick. Marjorie Danenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, an organization dedicated to advancing pro-life candidates to public office, said that in nominating Brett Kavanaugh, “President Trump has kept his promise to the Pro-Life Movement to only nominate pro-life judges to the Supreme Court. Judge Kavanaugh is an experienced, principled jurist with a strong record of protecting life and constitutional rights, as evidenced by his opinions in Garza v. Hargan and Priests for Life v. HHS.”
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins is also pleased with the selection. “For a second time, President Trump has followed through on his promise to select a nominee from the list he presented during the campaign. President Trump promised a constitutionalist — someone who will call balls and strikes according to the Constitution. We trust the president that Judge Kavanaugh will fit this mold as a justice. Judge Kavanaugh has a long and praiseworthy history of judging as an originalist, and we look forward to having a justice with his philosophical approach on the Court.”
If Mr. Kavanaugh is confirmed, the religious makeup of the court will remain the same: five are Catholic, three are Jewish, and one is Protestant.
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