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Arizonans react to Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court

Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee stands in the East Room of the White House, Monday, July 9, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

PHOENIX — President Donald Trump has nominated U.S. appeals court judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace retiring justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court.

Kavanaugh was selected off a shortlist thought to have included federal appeals court judges Thomas Hardiman, Raymond Kethledge and Amy Coney Barrett.

All of Trump’s top candidates were considered more solidly conservative than Kennedy.

Kavanaugh, 53, was confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington D.C. in 2006. He graduated from Yale Law School and at one point clerked for Kennedy. He also served in the George W. Bush White House.

Several political leaders from Arizona released statements shortly after Trump made his announcement Monday night.

Sen. John McCain released a statement thanking Kennedy for his service to the United States.

“I want to thank Justice Anthony Kennedy for his distinguished service on the United States Supreme Court,” McCain said in a statement. “Throughout his tenure, Justice Kennedy delivered consequential rulings on some of history’s most important issues, and his imprint on the nation’s highest court will remain for many years to come.”

The 81-year-old went on to credit Trump for his nomination of Kavanaugh, adding that his reputation as “a fair, independent, and mainstream judge” has earned him respect among his peers.

“In selecting Judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill the vacancy left by Justice Kennedy, President Trump has chosen a nominee with impeccable credentials and a strong record of upholding the Constitution,” McCain said.

“One of the Senate’s highest constitutional responsibilities is to provide advice and consent on nominations to the Supreme Court, and I look forward to the Senate fulfilling this critical duty through a fair and thorough confirmation process.”

Republican U.S. Rep. Martha McSally echoed McCain’s statements on Kavanaugh’s nomination, adding that his interpretation of the Constitution was a method that is “faithful to the Framers’ original design.”

“President Trump has selected a highly qualified nominee,” McSally said in a statement. “Our constitution was designed to promote self-government, ordered liberty and equality under the law, and I look forward to learning more about Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s interpretation as the Senate moves through the confirmation process.”

Republican U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs commended the president for “keeping his promise” in nominating a candidate that follows the “intent of our Constitution.”

While announcing his support, Biggs urged senators to confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

“America’s constitution stands at a crossroads, and each Supreme Court vacancy represents a critical juncture between adherence to our founders’ designs or a misguided reliance on the Constitution as a ‘living document,’” Biggs said.

“I’m urging our senators to swiftly confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh.”

Jeff Flake, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, also released a statement after the announcement, saying that he was “looking forward” to reviewing Kavanaugh’s credentials.

“As I have said before, approving a nominee who will interpret the Constitution rather than legislate from the bench should be our top priority,” Flake said.

“I look forward to meeting with Judge Kavanaugh and reviewing his record throughout the confirmation process.”

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