Lawmakers react as Trump picks Kavanaugh as Supreme Court nominee

(KFVS/AP) - President Donald Trump has announced his pick for the Supreme Court.

President Donald Trump nominated the influential conservative judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. The 53-year-old federal appellate judge has served in Washington D.C. for the past 12 years.

The four top contenders were believed to include federal appeals judges Brett Kavanaugh, Raymond Kethledge, Amy Coney Barrett and Thomas Hardiman.

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Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy is retiring.

From the office of the White House Press Secretary:

Today, President Donald J. Trump announced his intent to nominate Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by Justice Anthony Kennedy's assumption of senior status.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson issued the following statement today following President Trump's Supreme Court nominee:

"Thanks to President Trump, America is one step closer to a Supreme Court that reflects our values. The Senate should move swiftly to confirm Judge Kavanaugh who is eminently qualified and a proven conservative. The Supreme Court should interpret the law, not make the law. This is an enormous opportunity to make lasting change for our next generation."

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill today released the following statement on the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy:

"I look forward to thoroughly examining Judge Kavanaugh's record in the coming weeks as the Senate considers his nomination to replace Justice Kennedy."

McCaskill has voted in support of more than two-thirds of President Trump's judicial nominations since he took office in January 2017.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) released the following statement regarding President Trump's nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh for Associate Justice of the Supreme Court:

"President Trump has made a superb choice. Judge Brett Kavanaugh is an impressive nominee who is extremely well qualified to serve as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) released the following statement on President Trump's nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to serve as justice on the U.S. Supreme Court:

"Judge Kavanaugh is a highly-qualified nominee with an outstanding legal background. I look forward to learning more about his judicial record and talking with him about his judicial philosophy as the confirmation process moves forward."

Rep. Mike Bost (R-IL) released this statement on Facebook:

I am pleased to see President Trump nominate Judge Brett Kavanaugh. He is a highly qualified jurist with the temperament and mindset to interpret the U.S. Constitution in the spirit in which our Founders wrote it. I expect Judge Kavanaugh to showcase his sterling credentials and brilliant legal mind in the weeks ahead during confirmation hearings conducted in the Senate.

Josh Hawley, Missouri Attorney General, member of the U.S. Supreme Court Bar, and former Supreme Court Clerk, issued the following statement on President Trump naming Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the next Supreme Court nomination:

"Judge Kavanaugh is a remarkably qualified nominee for the Supreme Court. I have full confidence he will uphold the Constitution as the people wrote it, not impose his values from the bench. And that's what the people deserve. The balance of the court turns on this nomination and I applaud the President for his thoughtfulness on this decision "Unfortunately, the deciding vote may well rest with Senator Claire McCaskill – who has been wrong on Supreme Court nominees every single time. She supports liberal activists, voted for every single judicial nomination under President Obama, and opposed Justice Neil Gorsuch. She refuses to abandon Chuck Schumer and her left-wing allies, and we can expect this time to be no different. Missourians deserve a Senator who will fight for our way of life and support a constitutional conservative like Judge Kavanaugh."

U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released the following statement on President Trump's nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court:

The next Justice will likely be the deciding vote on whether Americans will keep affordable health insurance for pre-existing conditions, whether women will lose the freedom to make their own health care choices, and whether we have a Constitution that protects the rights of all Americans or just big corporations and wealthy elites.

U.S Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) released the following statement:

"The newfound urgency to fill Justice Kennedy's Supreme Court seat from many of the same people who refused to even consider President Obama's nominee is transparent opportunism that represents everything Americans hate most about politics today. We can't ignore the reality that Donald Trump wants to take us back to a time when insurers could refuse coverage to people with pre-existing conditions or that he promised to only nominate Justices who would put the government back in between women and their doctors.

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