NPR

Kavanaugh Pick Shows Trump Bowing Again To The GOP Legal Establishment

Kennedy has given the president the ultimate political gift — the chance to reprise his Greatest Hit (Neil Gorsuch) and shape the political debate in the months before the November midterm elections.
Many considered Brett Kavanaugh the front-runner to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, even before Kennedy announced his retirement. Despite his credentials, Kavanaugh still met resistance within Trump world. Source: Mandel Ngan

In the end, after days of highly dramatized deliberation, President Trump had to choose. He had to choose not only between several possible nominees for the Supreme Court, but also between categories of advisers.

In this case, he chose to listen to his lawyers rather than his talk show hosts. And he did not seem overly concerned about the warning Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had issued over the weekend about which prospective nominees would be easiest to get confirmed.

The man the president finally summoned to the stage in the East Room of the White House on Monday night was Brett Kavanaugh, whom many considered the front-runner to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy even before Kennedy had announced his retirement. Kavanaugh was once a clerk for Kennedy, overlapping briefly with Neil Gorsuch, the man President Trump made his first choice for the Supreme Court last year.

This time around, Kavanaugh was the lead horse, the candidate with the glittering resume and the inside track. As a double Yalie, he would keep intact the current

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