Kavanaugh Has Seen Legal World From Many Sides

UNITED STATES - MAY 09: Brett Kavanaugh testifies at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on his nomination to be U. S. Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit. (Photo By Chris Maddaloni/Roll Call/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump nominated D.C. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh on July 9 to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Judge Kavanaugh, who worked in the George W. Bush administration before becoming a judge, will now face a contentious confirmation process in Congress.

Here are five quick facts about Kavanaugh’s legal career:

  • Kavanaugh was confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in 2006 after a prolonged, three-year nomination battle, and following five years working in the White House. He has authored approximately 300 opinions, ruling “almost entirely in favor of big businesses, employers in employment disputes, and against defendants in criminal cases,” according to data compiled by the blog Empirical SCOTUS.
  • In the Bush administration, Kavanaugh worked as senior associate counsel and associate counsel to the president before serving as assistant to the president and White House staff secretary.
  • During the Clinton administration, Kavanaugh was a young protégé of Kenneth Starr. Kavanaugh first interned for Starr when the latter served as Solicitor General of the United States. He later worked for Starr at the Office of Independent Counsel, where Kavanaugh was a main author of the Starr Report delivered to Congress following an investigation of President Bill Clinton’s relationship with Monica Lewinsky. Among other things, the report laid out grounds for Clinton’s impeachment.
  • Kavanaugh also worked in private practice, as a partner at Kirkland & Ellis in Washington from 1997 to 1998 and again from 1999 to 2001.
  • After graduating from Yale Law School, Kavanaugh clerked for Judge Walter Stapleton of the Third Circuit, Judge Alex Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit (who retired last year following multiple allegations of sexual misconduct), and Justice Anthony Kennedy. That means, if confirmed, Kavanaugh will be the second Kennedy clerk to join the court, along with Justice Neil Gorsuch.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephanie Russell-Kraft in New York at srussellkraft@gmail.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom P. Taylor at ttaylor@bloomberglaw.com