President Trump nominates Brett Kavanaugh for Supreme Court, 7/9

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Monday, July 9th

President Donald Trump announces the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court, live from the East Room of the White House. CBS News correspondent Bill Rekopf anchors our coverage.

00:25:03

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Talk thirteen seventy the right choice. BS news special report here's correspondent bill great cost. Good evening we are alive this evening in Washington where we are moments away from president Trump's announcement of his pick to replace the retiring justice Anthony Kennedy on the United States Supreme Court. It is mr. trump second nomination for the High Court having picked Neil Gore's sister replace the late Antonin Scalia last year. It's a picked it could define the direction of the court for a generation or more. A CBS colleague Steve Dorsey is live at the White House is David's been widely regarded that there were four finalists on the president's list anything that might lead us to believe who the pick news. Watching the most telling. A clue is the parents of Brent Cavanaugh are in the crowd in the east room he is. A 53 year old DC circuit court judge. Who was appointed to that job nominated to that job by George W. Bush was spotted this evening here in Washington with officials. Escorting him from the courthouse what may attract president trump the most though is his pedigree. With degrees from Yale is also favor of the Federalist society. That's a key conservative group that's been vetting these 25 candidates that the president has been considering how over Democrats would be quick to scrutinize. In his senate confirmation hearings arguments that the president should be exempted from both criminal prosecution and civil suit. While in office bill. CBS news political analyst Leonard Stein owners also with us send a letter these are all conservative justices so there are varying degrees of conservatism out play Harrigan. It will yes or varying degrees. Bottom line is this will they restrict or try to restrict overturn Roe vs. Wade likely will they try to limit the ability of government to protect the environment likely. Well they've limit civil rights laws are likely. Increasing role of religion and society likely. Expand the Second Amendment likely the question is what degree of likely and that's what we'll play out when their Supreme Court justices. And now the president of the united states postal CNN. My fellow Americans. Tonight I speak you. From the east room of the White House regarding one of the most. Profound responsibility. Of the president. Of the United States and that is the selection. Of me Supreme Court justice. I've often heard that other than matters of war and peace this is the most important decision. A president. Will make the Supreme Court. Is entrusted. With the safeguard. Of the crown jewel of our republic. The constitution. Of the United States. Twelve days ago justice Anthony Kennedy. Informed me of his decision. To take senior status on the Supreme Court. Opening a new vacancy. For more than four decades Justice Kennedy served our nation. With incredible. Passion and devotion. I'd like to thank Justice Kennedy for a lifetime. Of distinguished. Service. And a few moments I will announce my selection. For justice Kennedy's request it. This is the second time I've been faced with this task. Last year I nominated. Judge you gore speech. To replace the late great. Justice Antonin Scalia. I terrorist just discourse. Because I knew that he just like Justice Scalia. Would be eight faithful servant. Of our constitution. We are honored to be joined tonight by Justice Scalia is beloved wife Maureen. Both Justice Kennedy and Justice Scalia were appointed by president who understood that the best defense of our liberty and a judicial branch. Immune from political prejudice. We're judges. That apply. The constitution. As written. That president. Happen to be Ronald Reagan. For this evening's announcement we are joined by Ronald Reagan's attorney general. Edwin Meese. And then I speak for everyone thank you for everything you've done to protect our nation's. Great legal heritage. In keeping with president Reagan's legacy. I do not ask about a nominee's personal opinions. What matters is not a judge his political views but whether they can say this. Those views to do what the law and the constitution. Require. I am pleased to say that I have found without doubt. Such a press. Tonight. It is my honor and privilege to announce that I will nominate judge Brett Cavanaugh. To the United States how. Have been stepped back from the podium but. Look at him the most questionable. I know the people in this room very well they do not stand and give applause like that. They have some respect and grant's wife Ashley and their two daughters Margaret. And lies that have joined us on the podium and thank you and congratulations. To use a family. Just got our. Is impeccable credentials unsurpassed qualifications. And a proven commitment to equal justice under the law. A graduate of Yale college and Yale Law School. Judge Cavanaugh currently teaches at Harvard Yale and Georgetown. Throughout the legal circles he is considered a judge's judge. A true thought leader among his peers. He's a brilliant jurist with a clear and effective writing style. Universally regarded as one of the finest and sharpest legal minds. Of our time. And just like it just discourses which he excelled as a clerk for Justice Kennedy. And judge Cavanaugh has devoted his life to public service. For the last twelve years he has served as a judge on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals with great distinction. Authoring over 300 opinions which have been widely admired for their skill inside. And rigorous adherence. To the law. Among those opinions are more than a dozen that the Supreme Court has adopted as the law of the land. Beyond his great renown as a judge she is active in his community. He coaches CYO basketball. Serves meals to needy families. And having learned from his mom who was a school teacher in DC. Tutors children at local elementary schools. There is no one of America more qualified. For this position. And no one more deserving. I want to thank the senators. On both sides of the Republican Democrat for their consultation and advice during the selection. Process. This incredibly qualified nominee deserves a swift confirmation and robust. Bipartisan support. The rule of law is our nation's proud heritage. It is the cornerstone. Of our freedom. It is what guarantees equal justice. And the senate now has the chance to protect. This glorious heritage. By sending judge Brett capital. To the United States Supreme Court. And now judge. The podium. Is yours. Mr. President. Thank you. Throughout this process. I've witnessed firsthand as. You're appreciation for the vital role of the American judiciary. No president. Has ever consulted more widely. Or talked with more people for more backgrounds. To seeking input. About a Supreme Court nomination. Mr. President I am grateful to you. And I'm humbled by your confidence in me and thirty years ago. President Reagan nominated Anthony Kennedy who Supreme Court. The framers established. That the constitution. Is designed to secure the blessings of liberty. Justice Kennedy devoted his career. To securing liberty. I am deeply honored us. To be nominated. To fill his seat on the Supreme Court. My mom and dad are here. I'm they're only child's. When people ask what it's like to be an only child's. I say. It depends on who your parents are. I was lucky. My mom was a teacher. In the 1960s. And seventies she taught history at two largely African American public high schools in Washington DC. We can we attacked in HD Woodson. For example. Told me the importance of equality for all Americans. My mom was a TrailBlazer. When I was ten she went to wal scorn became a prosecutor. Wired auction to walk him and our dinner table. Was she practiced for closing arguments. Her trademark line was. Use your common sense. What rings true. What rings false. That's good advice for juror. In first saw him. One of the few women prosecutors at that time she overcame barriers and became a trial judge. The president introduced me tonight as judge capital. But to me that tie dole is long tomorrow mob. My dad went to law school at night while working full time. He has an unparalleled work ethic. Is passed down to me his passion for playing. And watching sports. I love him dearly. The motto my jesuit high school. Was meant for others. I've tried to live that creed. I spent my career in public service from the executive branch in the White House. To the US court of appeals for the DC circuit. I've served with seventeen other judges. Each of them a Carly. And her friends. My judicial philosophy is straightforward. A judge must be independent. And must interpret the law not make the law. A judge must interpret statutes as written. And a judge must interpret the constitution as written. Informed by history. And tradition. And precedent. For the past eleven years of talk hundreds of students. Primarily at Harvard Law School. I teach that the constitution's. Separation of powers protects individual liberty. And our main grateful to the dean who hired me justice Elena Kagan. As a judge ought to hire four law clerks each year. I look for the best. My law clerks come from diverse backgrounds and points of view old. I am proud. That a majority of my law clerks have been women. I am part of the vibrant Catholic community in the DC area. The members of that community. Disagree about many things. Well we are united by a commitment to serve. Father John Chancellor is here. Forty years because an altar boy from father job. These days are helping serve meals to the homeless at Catholic Charities. I have two spirited daughters. Margaret and Liza. Margaret loves sports. And she loves to read. Weisel loves sports. And she loves to talk. I have tried to create bonds was my daughter's like my dad created with me. For the past seven years I have coached my daughter's basketball teams. The girls on the team call me coach K. I am proud of our blessed sacrament team that just won the city championship. My daughters and I also go to lots of games. Our favorite memory was going to look distort Notre Dame UConn women's basketball game at this year's final four. Unforgettable. My wife actually is a west Texan. A graduate of Abilene Cooper public high school and University of Texas. She is now the town manager of our community. We met in 2001 when we both worked in the White House. Our first date was on September 10 2001. The next morning as a few steps behind her. As the Secret Service shouted and all of us to sport now the front gates of the White House. Because there was and inbound plane. In the difficult weeks that followed. Actually was a source of strength. For President Bush. And for everyone in this building. Through bad days and so many better days since then she's been a great wife and inspiring mob. I think god every day from my family. Tomorrow I begin meeting with members of the set which plays an essential role in this process. I will tell each senator. That I Revere the constitution. I believe that an independent judiciary. Is the crown jewel of our constitutional republic. If confirmed by the senate. I don't keep an open mind in every case. And I won't always strive to preserve the constitution of the United States. In the American rule of law. Thank you Mr. President. Do. You. That this family has received get enough. It's in the standing ovation from the crowd in the east room shortly after the play. Announced his pick to be the next Supreme Court justice replacing new. I'm Anthony Kennedy. President from sending back from the podium you'll love the applause to continue. As the judge his wife and two daughters. Sure are some conversation and handshakes. And now the president is leaving the podium along with the capital family. Heading back down down the great hall of the White House sleeping in the east room. Severity is so president trump announcing the pick of judge Greg Cavanaugh as Supreme Court justice CBS news political analyst Leonard steinem or joining us and your immediate reaction to the president's pick on a. While my immediate reaction is that they're trying to sell his biography he's illegal thought leader who served our country and at the highest level but remains rooted in his community they try to humanize him. He says how he's hired more women how he engages all points of view how he feeds the hungry coaches sports he's devoted to his family. But very little obviously about his legal opinions and that's what's going to come out during this entire confirmation process. Our outlook live we have CBS's Steve Dorsey joining us from the White House where the announcement was just made it once again. The administration Steve managed to keep this pick from leaking out mostly had a time. Bill apparently. The president informed Kavanagh of his decision to select him. As his nominee to the Supreme Court back on Sunday so it is impressive. That is denied kept them under wraps for so long. With the president does saying that his credentials are impeccable that he's committed to equal justice under the law. And it's also fitting that he clerked for Justice Kennedy the justice he'd. May well be replacing very soon. After spending twelve years on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. Already bill certain to see reaction to this with George W. Bush to laud nominated him to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. Calling a brilliant jurist who has faithfully apply the constitution. And law throughout his twelve years on that court. But the NAACP. Saying Brett Cavanaugh is a dangerous ideologue whose extreme views. On civil rights would solidify a far right majority on the Supreme Court. Will be hearing more of these. Diverging views. Very soon as he begins to meet with senators tomorrow built. And you are listening to CBS news coverage of president trump Supreme Court nominee. CBS news legal analyst Steve Rosen bomb is joining us and will go to him actually in just a little better I wanna go back to Lenny Stein horn first though along though Steve Dorsey the White House and know Leonard political opposition. As says Steve just mentioned is already building. From some of the lobbying groups but also in Capitol Hill as well against the pick a bright Cavanaugh Pennsylvania senator Bob Casey in FactSet earlier today. That he would oppose anybody that the president text so was this is shaping up to be a nasty battle on Capitol Hill. Well it's gonna be especially tough for Cavanaugh because some rankings place and as far more conservative than Justice Kennedy who he'd be replacing in fact. Some rankings place and quite close Clarence Thomas who is arguably the most conservative member of the Supreme Court now again people are just reading tea leaves but. Brent Cavanaugh has a huge paper trail that Democrats and Republicans are going to could be combing through. Looking at evaluating. And questioning him on so you can expect a lot of fireworks these confirmation hearings. And a lot of disclosures and a lot of revelations as people get to know this sudden nominee much better. Leonard we've been talking about some of the you know the Democrats are gonna line up against this it so you're a matter of course again Casey saying you know vote against anybody we heard Bernie Sanders earlier today saying that this came off of conservative list that the president has been using. To consider a possible picks for the Supreme Court. But as you pointed out earlier. You know this. Picked. If confirmed. Kind of sets the course for the court possibly for a generation or better so you know. Do I guess the question is. He would do what we expect to that he rule. Likely he'll be supported by most of the conservatives spoke with the senator as tight as it is it's still could provide some drama. Oh it's gonna provide a lot of trauma in particular because of so what people might believe he would do that with Roe vs. Wade which he severely restricted. Or overturn that could be a deal breaker for a couple of Republican senators Susan Collins. Of Maine Lisa Murkowski of Alaska so that's going to be an area of scrutiny that people are gonna be cursing and trying to figure out. And asking a lot about but it's not just Roe vs. Wade I mean in the long run if he's anything close to Antonin Scalia which is she's been compared to. Philosophically and intellectually. He will therefore be limiting the ability of government has sort of regulated environment. He would be expanding. The Second Amendment he will be increasing the role of religion in society so these are serious issues that. Other senators going to have to DOS and largely if he's consistently conservative in those areas. It would be no surprise that most Democrats would wanna oppose them. Steve I've got about Tubbs twenty or so seconds left but in an administration has been dogged by bad news one way or another around the horn these days. All of this is a good evening for the administration. This is an evening that I think you can tell if you watch the president introducing Cavanaugh introducing his nomination he was pleased and I think this is. Something will be seeing oh a lot more of while they cheer lead. They're nominee to the Supreme Court. But of course we'll have much more coverage on the pick go vote for a cabin on CBS news radio not just on the radio but. On our apps for IOS and android is well. This has been a CBS news special report and for all of us here at CBS news I'm go right cots.
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