Brett Kavanaugh, the federal appeals judge nominated by President Donald Trump for a seat on the Supreme Court, has a track record of strongly supporting executive power, which includes calling for sitting presidents to be shielded from criminal investigations and civil lawsuits while they are in office.
Critics of the president say Kavanaugh's stances on executive power helped his standing with Trump, although the president himself didn't cite the judge's positions when he explained his rationale for picking him Monday night. Trump faces pending civil lawsuits and an ongoing criminal probe of members of his presidential campaign by special counsel Robert Mueller, who wants to question him.
Kavanaugh's record of deferring to presidential power, which includes suggesting that a president should not be constrained while in office by the responsibilities of "ordinary citizenship," is hardening resistance among Democratic senators to Kavanaugh's appointment.
"I will oppose this nominee with everything I got," said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" show on Tuesday, adding he is "worried about President Trump's overreach."
Schumer later told reporters on Capitol Hill: "Why was Kavanaugh chosen? Because the thing the president is most obsessed with is the Mueller investigation, and Kavanaugh is strongest against such an investigation."
"The strongest in believing the president, even if he thinks the law is unconstitutional, doesn't have to obey it," Schumer said. "That's so far out of the mainstream, but it’s just what President Trump, who would roll over our democracy in ways we've never seen, would want."