President Trump on Monday night announced federal appeals court judge Brett M. Kavanaugh as his nominee to replace the retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.
Kavanaugh, 53, a graduate of Yale Law School and a former law clerk to Kennedy in 1993, was elevated to the powerful federal appeals court in the District of Columbia by President George W. Bush, under whom he had served as a White House lawyer and staff secretary.
With approximately 300 opinions issued in 12 years as a judge and a raft of legal articles and speaking engagements, Kavanaugh was the most prolific of the nominees the president was said to be considering for the role.
"Throughout legal circles he’s considered a judge’s judge," Trump said in the announcement, labeling the Kavanaugh "one of the sharpest legal minds of our time."
Here are three things you should know about Kavanaugh as he heads into the confirmation process:
He worked on the investigation that led to President Clinton's impeachment
Kavanaugh co-wrote independent counsel Kenneth Starr’s report in the 1990s. He laid out the legal framework supporting Clinton’s impeachment for his affair with then-White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
It’s unclear how Kavanaugh would rule on abortion
Kavanaugh has never directly ruled on abortion as a judge, so it’s unclear how he would decide the subject.
He has close ties to the Bush family
Kavanaugh was nominated to the federal appeals court by former President George W. Bush, who said he selected Kavanaugh “because of the force of his mind, the breadth of his experience and the strength of his character.”