Mainly Partisan Reaction to New SCOTUS Nominee

Jul 10, 2018

Southern Illinois' two republican congressmen back President Trump's new Supreme Court nominee.

In written statements, Murphysboro's Mike Bost says Judge Brett Kavanaugh is highly qualified and will interpret the U.S. Constitution in the spirit of the Founders.

Collinsville's John Shimkus says Kavanaugh is exactly the kind of judge needed on the Supreme Court because he bases decisions on the Constitution and the rule of law.

Kavanaugh currently serves as an appeals court judge for the District of Columbia Circuit.

President George Bush nominated Kavanaugh to the D.C. Appeals Court in 2003. His confirmation hearings were contentious and stalled for three years over charges of partisanship. Kavanaugh was ultimately confirmed in May 2006.

Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin came out strongly against President Trump's latest pick for the U.S. Supreme Court ... calling him a "far-right jurist."

It's not the first time Appellate Judge Brett Kavanaugh has come under attack by Illinois' senior Democratic senator. Durbin was equally unsparing back in 2004, when Kavanaugh was first nominated to be a lower court judge.
 
"Wouldn't you understand that an attorney coming before the D.C. Circuit Court, looking at your resume, has to assume - just assume - where you're going to end up? There're so few exceptions, if any, in your legal career that point to objectivity."

Several Illinois Democratic women say they're concerned President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee will help overturn Roe versus Wade.

State Senator Heather Steans says she's worried about Judge Brett Kavanaugh's position on abortion.
 
"He is somebody who I don't trust to keep Roe v. Wade safe, legal, the law of the land."
 
Last year - Republican Governor Bruce Rauner angered conservatives when he signed a bill into law that would keep abortion legal even if Roe versus Wade is overturned. At an event Tuesday, Rauner reiterated his support for abortion rights.
 
"I'm aware that many people are trying to play politics with this issue. I want to make clear that I signed legislation, here in the State of Illinois, so that women's reproductive rights are protected, regardless of what happens at the federal level."
 
But, Democrats like Steans say they want Rauner to further pledge he won't change his position in the future.

Former law clerk for Justice Anthony Kennedy and SIU Law Professor Edward Dawson says Brett Kavanaugh is fairly similar to his predecessor.
 
Dawson says Kavanaugh is more conservative than Kennedy and may not fulfill the swing voter position.
Instead he says there will be a conservative majority, in which the judges may vote the other way individually, depending on the case.

Like Justice Neil Gorsuch and Dawson, Kavanaugh worked under Kennedy as a law clerk.

Dawson says if Kavanaugh is approved he would be the second justice to work with Kennedy previously.
 
Kavanaugh must still win Senate approval.