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President Donald Trump picked Brett Kavanaugh, one of the federal appeals court system's biggest opponents of regulatory action to protect the environment, to replace the Supreme Court seat held by Justice Anthony Kennedy, who will retire at the end of the month.

Trump nominated Kavanaugh after interviewing several candidates and eventually focusing his consideration on four: Kavanaugh, Michigan federal judge Raymond Kethledge, and federal judges Amy Coney Barrett and Thomas Hardiman.

"No president has ever consulted more widely, or talked with more people from more backgrounds to seek input about a Supreme Court nomination", Kavanaugh said of Trump.

A Boston Globe analysis of over 500 roll-call votes made by Collins shows she has favored those candidates for judicial positions - including district court, circuit court of appeals, and the Supreme Court, among other appointments - nearly 99 percent of the time.

Primus said it's unlikely the Supreme Court's decision legalizing same-sex marriage would be overturned, but speculated that Roe v. Wade is "somewhere between in danger and definitely gone".

"I would not support a nominee who demonstrated hostility to Roe v. Wade, because that would mean to me that their judicial philosophy did not include a respect for established decisions, established law", she said.

"Another conservative justice on the U.S. Supreme Court who honors the original intent of the Constitution will have a positive impact on our country for decades".

He said he was specifically concerned about how Kavanaugh might rule in cases concerning the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. Both senators have been non-committal toward Kavanaugh's nomination. Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

In 2009, Kavanaugh floated the idea that presidents should be immune from criminal and civil charges while in office because of the pressures of leading the nation.

Still, it's not entirely clear how Kavanaugh views the law, despite his D.C. Circuit dissent.

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One case likely to draw attention is Kavanaugh's 2015 dissenting opinion on the health care law's contraceptives mandate. "So am I", Schumer said on MSNBC's Morning Joe.

Senator Lindsey Graham of SC, a senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, has said judges probably shouldn't face recusal just because Trump picked them.

In a footnote, Kavanaugh wrote that the independent counsel statute, which was used by Kenneth Starr to investigate Clinton, "was a major mistake". Critics argue Kavanaugh should have joined the stronger opinion; defenders say he was merely operating within the framework that both sides of the suit agreed on.

Republicans will target three Democrats facing re-election in conservative states where Trump won big majorities in the 2016 election - Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Joe Donnelly of in - to support Kavanaugh.

From left, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, and Vice President Mike Pence before a meeting in McConnell's office in the US Capitol on Tuesday.

As how Kavanaugh would rule on the highest court, perhaps the most encouraging evidence comes from a speech he delivered a year ago to the American Enterprise Institute on the legal philosophy of the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist, whom he called "my first judicial hero".

Republicans want a speedy process to ensure the vote is held well before the November 6 midterm elections in which all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 35 of the 100 Senate seats are up for grabs, with Democrats trying to seize control of Congress.

That decision was appealed to the Supreme Court, which reversed the ruling in 2014. Congressman Marsha Blackburn said Tennesseans would be well served by Kavanaugh and the Senate should consider him swiftly.

Kavanaugh would keep the number of Catholics on the high court at five.