Utah political leaders react to Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court

Utah’s all-Republican Congressional delegation met President Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court on Monday night and urged his swift confirmation to replace Anthony Kennedy.

Trump tapped Kavanaugh, 53, who currently serves on the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit during a reality TV style event on Monday night at the White House.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, who has vowed to “lift heaven and earth” to make sure Trump’s nominee is confirmed, hailed the selection as an outstanding choice.

“I know him from his previous confirmation to the D.C. Circuit. He is one of our nation’s most distinguished and influential jurists,” said Hatch in a statement. “He has shown a deep commitment to the separation of powers and to both the First and Second Amendment. He will be a strong, principled voice on the Supreme Court.”

Sen. Mike Lee also said he was happy with Trump’s pick of Kavanaugh for the high court.

“Judge Kavanaugh is a well-respected jurist who deservedly received bipartisan support when confirmed to the D.C. Circuit in 2006,” said Lee in an email release. “I know him to be a smart and fair judge, one of the most admired appellate judges in the country.”

Lee and Hatch will get to vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination once it comes before the Senate. Lee gets to vote twice as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who will consider Kavanaugh before sending his nomination to the full Senate.

Republicans in the Senate hold a slim 51-49 majority over Democrats. If all of the Democrats vote against Kavanaugh’s nomination and two Republicans join them, his candidacy will fail. 

Even though Utah’s House members don’t get a say in the confirmation battle over Trump’s pick, Rep. John Curtis said he was pleased with the selection of Kavanaugh.

“One of the most lasting and consequential parts of any president’s legacy is their appointment of judges to the federal judiciary, especially to the Supreme Court.  I am pleased that President Trump has nominated Judge Kavanaugh to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.  I hope the Senate will swiftly fulfill their Constitutional responsibility to provide advice and consent by confirming this eminently qualified judge to the Supreme Court,” said Curtis in a press release shortly after Kavanaugh was unveiled as Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.

Rep. Mia Love also applauded Trump’s pick of Kavanaugh.

“It is extremely important that a conservative judge be confirmed on the Supreme court and I’m pleased that the President nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Judge Kavanaugh is an experienced, principled jurist with a strong record of protecting life and Constitutional rights,” said Love. 

This post will be updated as more of Utah’s political leaders weigh in.