President nominates Yale graduate for Supreme Court

President Donald Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. (MGN)

In the east room of the White House, President Donald Trump selected Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court.

Kavanaugh, a Yale Law School graduate and Federal Appeals Court judge, is now headed toward a divided Senate as the confirmation process begins.

If confirmed, Kavanaugh would join three other Yale Law School graduates currently on the Court.

Monday night, Trump chose Kavanaugh to fill the seat of retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.

The 53-year-old said he was deeply honored to be selected by the president. He also said if he's confirmed, he'll keep an open mind in every case and strive to preserve the Constitution of the United States.

Kavanaugh has written nearly 300 opinions as a judge in the DC circuit. He supported conservative issues ranging from gun rights to anti-abortion cases.

Some applauded the president's nomination, including members of the Yale Law School community who said Kavanaugh has been a mentor to students and a long-time friend.

Others, however, such as Democratic Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal, slammed the president's decision.

"We are in this fight together, because women's rights are human rights," Blumenthal said. "And all of our rights, all of our rights, are at stake in this fight. We need to save the Supreme Court and our democracy against a president who believes he is above the law.”

Murphy said he was disheartened that the president would choose a radical, anti-consumer, anti-women jurist.

"Judge Kavanaugh is way out of step with Connecticut on every issue that matters to families in our state," Murphy said in a statement. "He wants to limit women’s access to contraception. He will vote to criminalize abortion. He wants to overturn Connecticut's common sense gun laws. He would likely overturn protections for the thousands of people in our state who have preexisting conditions. On issue after issue, Judge Kavanaugh is a dream for the far right, and a nightmare for hard-working families in Connecticut. President Trump outsourced the biggest decision of his administration to the Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society, two political groups that gave him a list of acceptable nominees to the anti-choice, pro-corporate right."

He said he will vote against Kavanaugh.

Scott Wilson, president of the Connecticut Citizens Defense League issued a statement in which he said Kavanaugh seemed like a good choice to fill the spot.

"Although no one can be 100 percent certain on how a justice will decide on certain issues that come before the highest court in the land, Brett Kavanaugh has a track record of upholding the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution as an enumerated right that extends to individuals," Wilson said. "His work is evidenced in his dissent of Heller v D.C. 2011."

In a 2009 article, Kavanaugh argued "we should not burden a sitting president with civil suits, criminal investigations, or criminal prosecution."

"When a president who is under investigation for the commission of crimes is appointing people who may have to make decision on that investigation, that's a strange set of circumstances that we live in," said Governor Dannel Malloy.

District of Columbia v. Heller was a landmark Supreme Court case in which the the Court held that the 2nd Amendment protects an individual's right to possess a firearm for lawful purposes, such as self defense in a home.

Stay with Channel 3 for continuing coverage of the presidential nomination and confirmation process.

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