President Trump names Brett Kavanaugh as Supreme Court nominee

If confirmed, Brett Kavanaugh will fill the vacancy left by the retiring Anthony Kennedy, widely considered to be the court's "swing vote."
7:06 | 07/10/18

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Transcript for President Trump names Brett Kavanaugh as Supreme Court nominee
The president of the united States. Repor it was start out of work playbook. A prime ancement to an audience on the edge of its seat ent trump naming his supreme court nominee. It is my honor andri announce that I willominate judge bretvanaugh to the united statesreme court. There is no one in ameri more alified Fors position and no one more deserv Mr. President, I am grateful to you and I'm humbled by your confidence in me ter: Kavanaugh, a DL conservative choice with an impressiv pedigree. My jial philosophy is straightforward. A judge must B independent and musterpret law, not make the law. Repor tonight the courthouse steps already ont lines ofg-standing culture war. Kavaugf confirmed, would replaceustice Anthony Kennedy, whonnounced his retirement 12 days Supreme court jus Anthony Kennedy Anning he will retire. Thisves a major opening on the supreme court of the united States Reporteending shock waves through the nation and shivers do the spines of liberals, had to rely on edy's swing vote on social issues. That decisionng U a second seat fdent trump to fill on the bench, all him to help shape the counts highest court for generations come. From a political standpoint, pupolitil, what do you make of this nominat tonight? This is a very traonal pi it's the kind of pick you could agine a Jeb Bush or a Marco rubior a Ted Cruz pick Repor Maryland native, ett kaugh was raised Roman tholic, attending they Georgetown prep before going on to scuddyt yaleh as undergrad and then again as law sturnt.he's sd in the same court that produced sure court justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, ant Scalia, Clarence om warrenburger, and John robe Kavanaugh has beeneliably coervative throughout most of his career dating back to 1989 when was a study writing for the Yale law journal. He ultimatelyas one of the authors of the Starr report to congress thatommended a number of grounds impeaching president Clinton including, you , a number of misstatements,obstruction of justice, things of that nature. Reporter: Kavanaugh went on serve as counsel under the bush admination and is considered an establish choice for the nomination. You find him to a very calm and thoughtfulman. Reporter: Tom ss for homeland security adviser under president trump, kno B Kavanaugh well from his time at the bus white house. What peo will be most surprised about over the coming days and weeks will probably be thean side of judge Kavanaugh. He is a very soft, very kind, very smartindividual. Reporter: Despite overwhelmingport tonight, his rec has raised red flags for some conservatives. In able ofases he veither to uphold O toli to decide cases involving challenges to care, the affordable care act. And those are vie S the right as a signal that he might not be solid a conservative as the president should select. Repr: One of th biggest questions is how fly he would fulfill this campaign promise. I am putting pro-life justicn the court. He did say tonight that he did believe in interpreting laws and the constitute as they are written but a as history and precedent has determined. So that leaves him a lot of wiggle room Roe versus wade is now precedent THA ten M D. Yes. Think the most likely thing I an Eros Reporter: But in these deep divided times the road to confon for any of the candid would be partisan fight. His is the most important supreme courtancy for this country in at least a getion. Reporter: Senate majority leader mitchonll is already vowing to confirm Keedy's successor by fall before the midtermelection The sends ready to fulfill I constitutnal role by offering advice and consent on pdenttrump's nominee to fi this vacancy. Reporter: But demts are still seething over the last time there was aupreme court opening in 2016 whentice antoninlia diedsuddenly. It was Mcconnell who blocked a Vo on Barack ams nominee Merrick Garland until the presidentilection and then implemented the so-called nuclear option to get pnt trump's pickei Gorsuch confirmed with simple majority voter Democrats triggered that move. Going forward, then, can the demos find a way to stall untifter the midterm elections? The big question dec is how much to play out the proc and they're going to demand every dont. They're going to demand all of threcords, everything that he said or hasdone. Th do their best to stretch this ou Reporter: Kavanaughl need 50 votes plus the vice prent for conftion, which could come a number of ways with51 Republicans in the Nate. All eyes are on the conservatives who hav voted against the party line. And these demts who defied their poo when they voted for Gorsuch. Earlieod other senate Democrats warning the president's pick would have a serious ctthe dirtion heuntry. It is near impossible to imagine thatresident tmp would select a nee who isn't hostilo our health care law and health care for millionnd ions and millions of Americans. Who isn't hos to a woman's freedom T make H own health care decisions. Eporter: Kennedy was the man in the middle,en the swing who sided with conservatives plenty but surpriseeople on social is from race a civil rights to abortio and also on ennmental law. Hat's attake here at the supreme court? Decades of jurisprudence. And Brett kavan is 53 years old. Given lierms these days he could easily be there 40 years. Now this court is deadly on the right. Reporter: Ode the court that bt already drawn. Demonstrns on both S of the abortion deba We ha supreme court T is going to be stacked T a side of respecting life and lawho give us an opportunity to even at the re's a lot at stake here. And L I said, access to safe andegal abortion is on the lineig now. That's why we're out here.because we know that there's too much at stake to stay home. Reporter: In the end it is this key issue that could sway two republicanors who have made it clear they wantoe versus wade upheld. As voices quiet outside the courthouse tonight, many see a fight coming, a battle not just tht for the direction of the country. For "Nightline" I'merry moranashington. ??? It's too late to say sorry

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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