President Donald J. Trump’s announcement of his intent to nominate Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by Justice Anthony Kennedy is a step in the right direction according to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.
“President Trump’s nomination of Judge Kavanaugh presents an opportunity to solidify the conservative tilt of the U.S. Supreme Court. The retiring Justice Kennedy was long considered a ‘swing vote’ –he voted with the liberal wing of the Court almost as many times as he sided with the conservative Justices,” said National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Chief Environmental Counsel Scott Yager.
“Justice Kennedy, in fact, is partly to blame for the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) quagmire because he drafted his own opinion (creating the 4-1-4 split) and endorsed the ‘significant nexus’ test in the 2006 Rapanos decision. Replacing Justice Kennedy with a solidly conservative 5th vote will change the highest court in the land for many years to come and clears the path for a narrower WOTUS definition, as supported by the Trump Administration and NCBA, to be upheld by the Supreme Court.”
Judge Kavanaugh has served as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit since 2006, authoring more than 300 opinions, including 11 that have been affirmed by the Supreme Court. Before becoming a judge, he served in the George W. Bush administration, first as an Associate Counsel and then Senior Associate Counsel, and subsequently as Assistant to the President and Staff Secretary. A graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School, Judge Kavanaugh clerked on the Supreme Court for Justice Kennedy, and for judges on the Third and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeals. Judge Kavanaugh also served as a Counsel for the Office of Independent Counsel under Ken Starr and as a Partner at Kirkland & Ellis, LLP.