He was there, as promised, to entrust his presidential legacy and the hopes of conservatives everywhere to a nominee who would emerge from obscurity to inherit the considerable power to redraw the ideological balance of the Supreme Court for a generation.
A sign of what lies ahead came from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell praised the appellate judge as "an impressive" nominee who is "extremely well qualified" to sit on the nation's highest court.
He's expected to meet with Kavanaugh on Tuesday.
Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana said he was bracing for a tough confirmation battle as Democrats focus on abortion.
On Monday, Trump phoned retiring Justice Kennedy to inform him that his former law clerk would be nominated to fill his seat.
"The selection of Judge Kavanaugh shows that the Trump administration is serious about taming the administrative state", said Jonathan Adler, a law professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. Issuing the invitations makes the lawmakers choose between humoring voters who think they should be bipartisan and others who feel they shouldn't condone Trump's pick.
Trump, a former reality television star, kept the tension going until the final moments, and refused to give anyone around him a straight answer on who the final pick was.
Host Chuck Todd then brought up the dilemma faced by red-state Democrats. The president briefed Senate Republicans at the White House Monday evening shortly before making the public announcement. "Kavanaugh has been the creature and servant of political power all his days", Garrett Epps, a constitutional scholar, wrote in The Atlantic."It would be the height of folly to expect that, having attained his lifetime's ambition of a seat on the Supreme Court, he will become anything else". First with Justice Gorsuch, and now, if confirmed, with Judge Kavanaugh.
Conservative judicial activists will immediately begin running ads pressuring politically vulnerable Democratic senators to vote for confirmation.
Prior to being tapped by Trump, some conservatives questioned Kavanaugh's bona fides, and he's controversial with Democrats because of his role in the Starr investigation of Clinton.
In a stinging dissent, Kavanaugh blasted the majority for an approach he called "radically inconsistent with 40 years of Supreme Court precedent". Brett's mother Martha Gamble served as a Maryland state Circuit Court Judge from 1995 to 2001.
"All that changes for me is that we now have a nominee", Heitkamp said in a statement.
The conservative Supreme Court majority in 2014 agreed with Kavanaugh on the point he raised in the case, although it upheld most of the Obama regulations. "I strongly urge my Senate counterparts not to approve any nominee who was chosen by President Trump until the investigation into his campaign's collusion with Russian Federation has concluded".
On the Republican side, it comes down to these two moderate women: Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine.
Trump also hopes to pressure several Democrats into voting to confirm his nominee.
Kavanaugh added that he is "proud" that most of his clerks have been women. "We need to vote this November like our lives depend on it - because they do".
They both also voted in favor of Gorsuch in 2017. The White House invited a number of senators to attend the Monday night announcement.
In his time serving on the U.S. Court of Appeals for Washington, D.C., Kavanaugh has consistently voted to roll back rules and regulations. Trump pledged in 2016 that he would be "putting pro-life justices on the court". The President introduced me tonight as Judge Kavanaugh. It is imperative that judges adhere to the Constitution and resist judicial activism. She asked viewers to consider "the snapshot" of Trump associates - including Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn and Michael Cohen - under investigation or facing charges.
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