Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, is the son of a public school teacher who went on to serve as a clerk for retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.
Considered the most establishment-connected candidate Trump had considered for the post, Kavanaugh worked in the White House under ex-President George W. Bush and has sat on the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit since 2006.
During the prime time announcement at the White House Monday night, Kavanaugh, 53, spoke of how he met his wife while working at the White House a day before the 9/11 terror attacks.
“My wife Ashley is a West Texan,” he said. “We met in 2001 when we both worked in the White House. Our first date was September 10, 2001.”
He then described how he was “a few steps behind her” when the Secret Service told them to rush out the front gates of the White House.
“In the difficult weeks that followed, Ashley was a source of strength to President Bush and for everyone in this building,” he said.
“Through bad days and so many better days since, she has been a great wife and inspiring mom. I thank God every day for my family.”
No one else on the president’s short list of candidates could match Kavanaugh’s Washington credentials.
Born in the district, the judge moved to Maryland as a youth and — like Justice Neil Gorsuch — attended Georgetown Preparatory School.
After graduation from Yale in 1987 and Yale Law School in 1990, Kavanaugh spent two years as a law clerk for Judge Walter Stapleton of the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia and Judge Alex Kozinski of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco.
One of his most notable early-career roles was as a lawyer for Whitewater independent counsel Ken Starr, whose investigation led to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton in 1998.
Kavanaugh led the investigation into the death of Vince Foster, an aide to President Clinton who committed suicide.
At his announcement Monday, Kavanaugh said “I am part of the vibrant Catholic community of the DC area” — and according to his online biography he is a lector at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Washington.
Also Monday night, he introduced his two young daughters, Margaret and Liz, who joined their parents at the ceremony.
“I have tried to create bonds with my daughters like my dad created with me,” Kavanaugh said.
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