Who is Brett Kavanaugh? What to know about Trump's second Supreme Court pick

President Donald Trump nominated Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court in 2018. Kavanaugh was confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate in a 50-48 vote that followed explosive confirmation hearings that centered around a sexual assault allegation leveled against Kavanaugh by professor Christine Blasey Ford. Kavanaugh vehemently denied the accusations.

Before his nomination to the Supreme Court, Kavanaugh served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit for 12 years. Kavanaugh had clerked for various federal judges in the years following his graduation from law school, including a clerkship for the Supreme Court justice he would eventually replace, Anthony Kennedy.

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Justice Brett Kavanaugh is one of President Donald Trump's picks for the Supreme Court.

Who is Brett Kavanaugh?

Kavanaugh is the 114th justice to serve on the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh previously served as a judge on the D.C. Circuit, a position he was nominated to by President George W. Bush. Before his time as a judge, Kavanaugh was a top aide to Bush during his presidency. He worked in the Bush White House from 2001 to 2006, serving in the White House Counsel's Office and then as Bush’s staff secretary. Kavanaugh was a key player in independent counsel Ken Starr's investigation into the Clinton White House and was part of the Bush campaign's legal effort around recounts of the 2000 election results.

Kavanaugh spent the early part of the 1990s following his graduation from law school clerking for federal judges. His final clerkship was for Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy during the high court's 1993 term, where he worked alongside another attorney who would ascend to the Supreme Court, Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch. 

How old is Brett Kavanaugh?

Kavanaugh was born on Feb. 12, 1965. He is 57.

Where is Brett Kavanaugh from?

Kavanaugh was born and raised in Washington, D.C., where he attended the all-boys Georgetown Preparatory School, where Gorsuch was also a student.

Who nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court?

Trump nominated Kavanaugh in 2018.

Who did Brett Kavanaugh replace?

Kavanaugh replaced retiring Associate Justice Kennedy.

Is Brett Kavanaugh liberal or conservative?

Kavanaugh is one of six conservatives on the nine-member court.

What is Brett Kavanaugh’s party affiliation?

Kavanaugh worked for a Republican presidential administration, was nominated by a Republican president, and confirmed by a Republican-controlled Senate, but his party affiliation as a voter is not known. An investigation by judicial watch group Fix The Court looking into the voter records of the Supreme Court justices found no party registration information for Kavanaugh.

How does Brett Kavanaugh vote?

Kavanaugh largely votes with the court’s conservatives. In the 2020 term, he voted with Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett and Chief Justice John Roberts 86% and 95% of the time, respectively, according to the Harvard Law Review. He voted with liberal Associate Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor 68% and 61% of the time, respectively.

Is Kavanaugh an originalist?

Kavanaugh is widely considered to embrace an originalist judicial philosophy, popular among legal conservatives. Originalists believe the Constitution's words should be interpreted to have the same meaning as the framers would have understood them when they ratified the founding document.

“A judge must interpret the Constitution as written,” Kavanaugh said in a speech at his swearing-in ceremony. “Informed by history and tradition and precedent.”

Where did Brett Kavanaugh go to school?

In 1987, Kavanaugh earned a bachelor’s degree from Yale College. He earned his law degree from Yale Law School in 1990.

What is a notable opinion by Brett Kavanaugh?

Legal experts are still discussing a concurring opinion Kavanaugh wrote in 2020 dealing with the question of whether criminal defendants must be convicted by a unanimous jury. In a 6-3 opinion, the Supreme Court ruled that the Sixth Amendment requires unanimous juries. What made Kavanaugh's concurring opinion interesting is that he laid out how he decides when it's appropriate to overturn a precedent, a calculation that will be closely watched – including in the context of abortion – in coming months and years. 

Is Brett Kavanaugh Catholic?

Yes, Kavanaugh is one of six Catholic justices on the court, most of whom are conservative. 

Who is Brett Kavanaugh’s wife?

Kavanaugh married Ashley Estes Kavanaugh in 2004. She  was a longtime aide to Bush, stretching back to his days as Texas governor. She worked on the Bush-Cheney presidential campaign before taking up various roles in the White House.

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Contributing: John Fritze

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Brett Kavanaugh: What to know about Trump's second SCOTUS nominee