BLOOMINGTON — President Donald Trump's nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, 53, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, to the U.S. Supreme Court drew divided reaction among politicians, political activists and academics. Following are some comments made shortly after the announcement (Gov. Bruce Rauner was asked to comment but did not reply by press time):
"By nonpolitical, legal standards, Brett Kavanaugh is eminently qualified. His selection is very much in line with the Federalist Society ideal of a conservative, originalist judge. ... I believe the Kavanaugh addition to the Court will create the fifth vote necessary to overturn significant precedents such as Roe should the chance arise."
— Meghan Leonard, associate professor of political science at Illinois State University
“Judge Brett Kavanaugh is an extremely qualified candidate who should be considered based on merit, not politics. I hope our senators will honor this and allow the confirmation process to move forward.”
— U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, Taylorville Republican
"Brett Kavanaugh is a judge who consistently favors big business and undermines protections for consumers, workers, women and the environment. Replacing Justice Kennedy’s swing vote with a far-right jurist like Judge Kavanaugh could change the rules in America. Just as troubling, in light of the ongoing Russia investigation, Judge Kavanaugh has expressed staunch opposition to criminal investigations of sitting presidents."
— U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.
"Judge Brett Kavanaugh is a dedicated public servant, highly qualified, & a principled constitutionalist. I send my congratulations to the Kavanaugh Family, & applaud @realdonaldtrump for another great #SCOTUSpick."
— U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, Channahon Republican (via Twittter)
“The newfound urgency to fill Justice Kennedy’s Supreme Court seat from many of the same people who refused to even consider President Obama’s nominee is transparent opportunism that represents everything Americans hate most about politics today. We can’t ignore the reality that Donald Trump wants to take us back to a time when insurers could refuse coverage to people with pre-existing conditions or that he promised to only nominate justices who would put the government back in between women and their doctors."
— U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill.
“The president’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court reaffirms that our Constitution will be strongly upheld within our nation’s highest court. With more than 300 published opinions, Judge Kavanaugh has become a thought-leader among his peers on the appellate courts and deeply respected by the Supreme Court. Having known him and his family personally and witnessing his proven track record, I am excited to have his measured perspective added to the bench."
— U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood, Dunlap Republican
“Donald Trump’s choice for the Supreme Court could upend the rights of communities across Illinois and considering that Bruce Rauner is in ‘constant communication’ with the White House, I call on this governor to oppose Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination in full force. ... It is an attempt by Donald Trump to remake the court in his own, hateful image and will leave us with a judicial branch that sides with special interests instead of vulnerable communities.
— J.B. Pritzker, Democratic nominee for Illinois governor
"We at Equality Illinois will work with our state and national partners to analyze Judge Kavanaugh’s record and call our community to action in the coming days. We will fight and resist an anti-LGBTQ nominee who would try to turn back the clock on our civil rights. The history of LGBTQ people demonstrates that we know how to show up, speak up, and fight back."
— Equality Illinois, LGBTQ rights organization
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